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Team USA provides Sunday thrills, but ultimately loses the 2018 Ryder Cup



Team USA was trailing 10-6 going into Sunday’s 12 singles matches against Team Europe at the 2018 Ryder Cup. It was a highly unlikely comeback — about a 9 percent chance according to multiple data sources — but there were moments on Sunday it looked possible.

Justin Thomas, in a back-and-forth match against Rory McIlroy, pulled off a crucial win after Rory drove the ball into the lip of a fairway bunker on 18 and hit his approach shot into the hazard.

Other things were happening, too.

Finau was finessing Fleetwood. Webb was waxing World No. 2 Justin Rose. Koepka was keeping up with Casey. Woods was withstanding Rahm’s will. Reed was rolling.

But ultimately, alliteration aside, the Europeans were simply winning too many holes, and racking up points. The United States needed to win 8 matches. It had to be an utterly one-sided Sunday in the USA’s favor, and it simply was not.

Tiger vs. Rahm in the fourth slot proved to be a huge swing match after USA recorded 2.5 points in the first three matches. Rahm missed a four-footer on 16, giving Tiger a chance at 1 down with 2 to play, but Rahm closed the deal on 17 with a short birdie putt (leading to an expectedly huge celebration) after Tiger missed the fairway off the tee and failed to chip in. Tiger finished 0-4 in the 2018 Ryder Cup.

About the time Rahm closed the door on Tiger was when Ian Poulter took hold of the match against Dustin Johnson (despite DJ holing a few long putts to give hope), and he closed the door with fantastic approach shots on the final three holes. Thorbjorn Olesen closed out Spieth 5&4. Bubba Watson went down 5 to Henrik Stenson, Molinari went up 3 on Phil Mickelson, and Sergio Garcia was up 2 holes on Rickie Fowler. With too much blue on the scoreboard and just not enough red, it was just a matter of time. Europe was a lock to take back the Ryder Cup. And they did.

The Ryder Cup officially ended when Francesco Molinari hit the green on 16 and Phil flared one into the water. Fittingly, due to Molinari’s 5-0 performance, his 4&2 victory on Sunday gave Europe its winning point.

The overlying factor in the entire Ryder Cup was the United States’ inability to hit fairways on a Le Golf National course that penalizes missed fairways. This could have something to do with it…

Here’s how the relevant matches finished as Europe clinched the Cup:

  • JT def. Rory 1up
  • Brooks and Casey: halved
  • Webb def. Rose 3&2
  • Rahm def. Woods 2&1
  • Finau def. Fleetwood 6&4
  • Poulter def. DJ 2up
  • Olesen def. Spieth 5&4
  • Molinari def. Mickelson 4&2
  • Stenson def. Bubba 5&4
  • Garcia def. Rickie 2&1

So what’s the takeaway? Did the task force make bad choices with the captains picks? Did Furyk’s pairings cost the U.S. in the first two days? Was it simply a great performance by the Europeans?

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Ryder Cup here. 

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.



  1. Lovejoy

    Sep 30, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Funny how you Americans lose interest when you’re not winning

  2. Robert Darling

    Sep 30, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Anyone actually watch this?

  3. Don Greco

    Sep 30, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    The USA’s record in the Ryder Cup is not so hot since the PGA and USGA “Tigerproofed” a lot of courses, forcing the emphasis on length versus the player’s versatility and shot making skills. Reap what you sow.

    • CaoNiMa

      Sep 30, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      That’s the other way around from Europe and the world’s perspective.
      That the courses in the US are “Tiger-rigged” and so are his course choices so that he can play courses he likes and avoid the rest without penance. He chooses courses that are open or more friendly to his favoured left-right cut shot, and not tight, narrow and right-left biased.
      This is why the PGA tour stats are skewed. To see the driving stats of these players in the USA spray it so much and yet still be on this team winning time and again and making money and points, goes to prove that the regular PGA tour courses need to be revamped, made narrower, tighter, and tougher, like Le Golf National was, so that the US team and players are better prepared.
      It will also mean that the world rankings will change, and we will see different names than these up on the leaderboards. So whether the PGA tour will have enough balls to take away the success from these stars is a whole other matter, however.

  4. Ian

    Sep 30, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Actually Europe won when Phil missed his putt on the 15th green. That meant Molinari couldn’t lose his match and neither could Stenson. Those two guaranteed half points were all that were needed to get to 14.5 points and win. I will add that Norens putt on the last was almost like the Europeans won the Ryder Cup twice on the same day.

    • Radim Pavlicek

      Sep 30, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      ya, that putt was simply brutal. I wonder how much boost a player can get from such an experience in the next season.

  5. Jerry G

    Sep 30, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    USA Team looked tired all weekend.

    Maybe you need to match equipment to the course – crooked was not good on this course.

  6. Ardbeggar

    Sep 30, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Another Ryder Cup Committee to sort things out ?

    • Brian McGranahan

      Sep 30, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      Yes. We need a Ryder Cup task force task force. Or how bout we just f it and go have some fun.

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The drivers used by the top-10 longest hitters on the PGA Tour in 2017-2018



What drivers do the PGA Tour’s longest golfers use to bomb their tee shots? Now that the 2017-2018 PGA Tour season is behind us, we can do a thorough examination.

First, here’s a tally of what the top 10 in driving distance on Tour are using by driver manufacturer. Interestingly, only two OEMs figure.

  • Ping: 4
  • TaylorMade: 6

But this is GolfWRX, so of course you want to know more. Below is a breakdown of the driving-distance leaders on the PGA Tour in 2017-2018, the specifics of their drivers, shafts and how far their average tee shots flew.

10) Keith Mitchell

Driver: TaylorMade M1 440
Loft: 10.5 degrees (10 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS T1100 7.5 (tipped 1 inch)
Length: 45.25 inches
Swing weight: D3
Grip: Golf Pride Victory Cord 58R
Average driving distance: 312.6 yards

9) Bubba Watson

Driver: Ping G400 LST
Loft: 8.5 degrees (7.6 degrees)
Shaft: Ping BiMatrix-X (tipped .50 inch)
Length: 44.5 inches
Swing weight: D4
Grip: Ping 703 Gold
Average driving distance: 312.9 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Bubba’s clubs

8) Brooks Koepka

Driver: TaylorMade M3 460
Loft: 9.5
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70TX
Average driving distance: 313.0 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Koepka’s clubs

7) Gary Woodland

Driver: TaylorMade M3 440
Loft: 9 degrees (8 degrees)
Shaft: Accra RPG 80X (tipped 2 inches)
Length: 45.25 inches
Swing weight: D5
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord Mid
Average driving distance: 313.4 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Woodland’s clubs

6) Dustin Johnson

Driver: TaylorMade M4
Loft: 9.5 degrees
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
Average driving distance: 314.0 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Dustin’s clubs

5) Luke List

Driver: TaylorMade M4
Loft: 8.5 degrees
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White D+ 80TX
Average driving distance: 314.7 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about List’s clubs

4) Tony Finau

Driver: Ping G400 Max
Loft: 9 degrees (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Accra Tour Z X485 M5 (tipped 1 inch)
Length: 45.25 inches
Swing weight: D5
Grip: Custom Lamkin UTX Mid
Average driving distance: 315.3 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Finau’s clubs

3) Tom Lovelady

Driver: Ping G400 Max
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: TPT MKP 15.5
Length: 44.75 inches
Swing weight: D3+
Grip: Golf Pride V55 Full Cord 58R
Average driving distance: 315.9 yards

2) Trey Mullinax

Driver: Ping G400 Max
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage XT 60-X
Length: 45 inches (tipped 1 inch)
Swing weight: D4
Grip: Golf Pride V55 Full Cord
Average driving distance: 318.7 yards

1) Rory McIlroy

Driver: TaylorMade M3 460
Loft: 8.5 degrees
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 70XTS
Length: 45.625 inches
Swing weight: D8
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R
Average driving distance: 319.8 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Rory’s clubs.

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Tour News

Patrick Reed airs out Jordan Spieth and Captain Jim Furyk following the 2018 Ryder Cup loss



In an interview with Karen Crouse of The New York Times, Patrick Reed held zero punches about his displeasure with former Ryder Cup partner Jordan Spieth, Captain Jim Furyk, and the egos of the United States team.

First, a bit of back story. Patrick Reed — dubbed “Captain America” — played foursomes and fourballs with Jordan Spieth in both the 2014 and 2016 Ryder Cups, amassing a 4-1-2 record as partners in the two events.

But when it came to the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, Patrick Reed was paired with Tiger Woods in both fourball sessions (losing both), while Spieth played with Justin Thomas in fourballs and foursomes (Spieth/JT went 3-1). Reed sat the bench for both foursomes sessions.

According to Reed, the decision to split from Spieth was not his call, or the captain’s, but rather, due to Spieth’s wishes. Reed also took shots at Furyk for sitting him in both fourball matches.

Here’s what Reed had to say…

About Jordan Spieth

“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” Reed said, according to the NYT. He added: “I don’t have any issue with Jordan. When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me as long as it works and it sets up the team for success. He and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.”

In the post-Ryder Cup press conference with the entire team, the ex-partners were asked about the split, to which Spieth answered: “We were totally involved in every decision that was made… Jim allowed it to be a player-friendly environment.”

When asked about this moment in the interview by the NYT, Reed said, “I was looking at (Jordan Spieth) like I was about to light the room up like Phil in ’14,” in reference to Phil Mickelson calling out Captain Tom Watson in the 2014 post-Ryder Cup interview.

About Captain Furyk

“I thought he might go back with the groups that have worked in the past (after the first alternate-shot session).”

“For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice.”

About the U.S. Team

“Every day, I saw ‘Leave your egos at the door,’” Reed said, of inspirational messages in the team room. “They (the Europeans) do that better than us.”

Full New York Times article.

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Tour News

Was Spieth’s chest pound toward Poulter too much while down 10-6? Or do you love it?



It seemed that Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, coming off an emotional 2&1 victory against Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm in the morning fourballs match, got somewhat of a stern talking to from the United States’ “task force” coming off the final green. Which makes sense; the “I can’t hear you” and ball-carrying celebrations don’t play as well when getting blown out by the opposition. But, on the flip side, the squad needed an emotional boost from somewhere.

In their afternoon foursomes match against Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy, it seemed as though JT and Spieth had relatively toned down the celebrations, while Poulter kept up his incessant chest pounding. But Spieth and JT didn’t tone down the birdies; they pulled out another W, winning the afternoon match 4&3.

On the last hole, however, Spieth celebrated with a clear “in-your-face” 3-pump chest pound, imitating Ian Poulter’s celebrations throughout the day. Not a big deal in the Ryder Cup atmosphere, but, the putt was to move from down 10-5 against the Europeans to 10-6. Maybe not the right time to gloat?

Steve Sands was on the scene of the 15th green (where the match concluded) and asked Spieth himself about the celebration.

Sands: One of the things that makes this event so fascinating is the emotion coming, pouring out of you guys while you’re competing, something we don’t normally see on a regular basis week-in and week-out. You’re pounding your chest, clearly sending a message. Just curious what it’s like to play with that type of emotion with all of these people around.

Spieth: “Yea I mean Ian (Poulter), being a Ryder Cup guru, to have him twice today and win, and he pounded his chest on us earlier today. So I was waiting for the right moment. And I think to win the match this afternoon felt like the right time. Clearly we’re down 4 points so in the scheme of things we shouldn’t necessarily be celebrating, but for us two to get that point, the way that we played today, and the battle we had with those guys, both matches, it was emotional. It was awesome. It feels like you’re competing on a Sunday in a major every single hole during the Ryder Cup. And that’s what’s advantageous when you start to see putts go in like that, we can use that going forward.”

What do you think about Spieth’s celebration? Too much, or exactly what the United States needed to gain a bit of momentum?

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19th Hole