23 Sep 2018

Ryder Cup flashback: United States outclassed at Gleneagles

On paper it was set to be another close contest, with the United States hungry for revenge after the 2012 ‘Miracle of Medinah’, but the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles was a relative walk in the park for Captain Paul McGinley’s men as they outclassed Tom Watson’s charges 16½ – 11½ in Scotland.

With the European crowd in boisterous voice the United States quickly calmed the atmosphere, taking the first session of fourballs 2½-1½, which included a 5&4 win for rookies Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth against Europe’s ‘Mr Ryder Cup’ Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher.

However, whatever momentum the United States had was quickly lost as Europe went undefeated in the afternoon to end the say 5-3 ahead – with Watson choosing not to let the young rookies off their leash in the alternate shot format. On Saturday the United States again started strongly, winning the fourballs to climb to within a point. But again the European foursomes partnerships proved too strong, and with a 10-6 lead going into the Singles you could sense a repeat of the comeback that Europe inflicted upon the USA in 2012 was not on the cards.

Two of America’s standouts from that fateful weekend in Chicago – Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradely – didn’t hit a shot on the Saturday as Watson unceremoniously benched them, and after early wins in the singles for Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell to get to 12 points, Europe needed just two more to get to the magic score of 14 and retain the trophy. They did it in empathic style, with Jamie Donaldson putting the exclamation point on the victory with a 145-yard approach to within gimme distance to see off a clearly out-of-sorts Bradley 5&3.

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