How Can Europe Rebuild Following the Ryder Cup Failure?
The Americans entered the final day of the rescheduled 2020 Ryder Cup with an 11-5 lead, needing only 3.5 points to claim victory. The competition ended 19-9 in favour of the United States and the hosts produced one of the greatest Ryder Cup performances of all time.
The talent in the US team was incredible and they started the tournament as the favourites to win. However, there was plenty of pressure on the players as they were expected to deliver. With so many of them being at the top of the PGA Tour, it came as little surprise to see them rise to the challenge and brush aside the European team at Whistling Straits.
While the American team celebrated their success, the European team were left to lick their wounds. This was a crushing defeat, and the Europeans did not come close to their opponents throughout the three days of action. So, what is next for the European Ryder Cup team?
First, we must look at what went wrong for Europe at Whistling Straits to ensure it does not happen again in the future. However, it is also important to respect the quality of the United States team, which was packed full of great players, in good form. You can follow the likes of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, and Xander Schauffele on the PGA Tour and get all the latest odds as they return to regular tournament golf.
Perhaps the European players could have done with a scouting trip to assess the golf course at Whistling Straits earlier in the year? This would have seen them better prepared for the course and the greens. Clearly the Covid situation did not help in that regard, but it would be something to consider for the future, especially for tournaments on US soil.
Looking ahead to the next Ryder Cup, Europe could expand their captains picks as Padraig Harrington chose only three players for the latest edition of the event. Steve Stricker had six captains picks and while he did not do anything out of the ordinary with those picks, the selection of Scottie Scheffler paid dividends. If Harrington had more picks, he could have chosen some younger players, who would at least have gained Ryder Cup experience if nothing else. Choosing a younger team over experience may have helped.
Hitting the panic button would be the wrong move for Europe. There were tears from some of the European players at the end of the 2020 Ryder Cup but there were also plenty of smiles and laughter. In many ways, the European team has overachieved in recent years and the players did not hit the heights of some of the recent Ryder Cup events.
Looking to the future is the key for the European team. They cannot continue to rely on the likes of Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, and Sergio Garcia. Even if the European team loses the next Ryder Cup, they must include a small crop of new, young, and hungry players.