Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup: Why the Americans won, Willett's X-rated verdict, and why McIlroy wants to be a heckler

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USA Ryder Cup 2016

Image credit: AFP

ByToby Keel
03/10/2016 at 09:09 | Updated 03/10/2016 at 09:39

With the USA having won the Ryder Cup for only the second time this millennium, we round up the best reaction from the captains, players and vice-captains following Sunday's climax.

U.S. captain Davis Love III – We came together as a family

"We haven't had a good run lately and I'm thrilled for them that they got the win. Proud of the way they competed all week. I'm proud of their attitude. But mostly proud of the way they came together as a family.

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"Our guys handled the pressure. Europe came in and played unbelievable golf. The great thing is we didn't battle between all of us, we all pulled together…

"I'm super proud of them. We all pulled together for this one. Just because we got kicked around for so long, you keep losing, you feel like you've got to do something different… It was a little bit of a rebuilding, a little bit of a shift in attitude. We're going to go into it with a better attitude from here on forward."

Europe captain Darren Clarke – They holed putts, we lipped out

"At the end of the day, the American guys played better than we did. They holed the putts when they had to, and we lipped out. But that's happened the other way around for quite some time.

"The guys gave it all. They are trying everything, they tried as hard as they could. You can't ask for anything more as a captain. We're obviously bitterly disappointed, but credit to Davis and his team for the performance of the day….

"When it comes to it, the American Ryder Cup Team deserved to win this Ryder Cup, and we're all gutted and disappointed, and we will be back stronger to fight in two years' time in Paris."

USA's Phil Mickelson – Vice-captains were crucial, but these guys are great golfers and great men

"We've got some work to do. The thing about this is that we need to build on this. Otherwise, it's all for naught.

"With the input that Davis Love had, and each vice captain -- Tom Lehman, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson -- all brought integral parts to the success of this foundation, and it's important that we build on that.

"Davis is going to be a very instrumental part of that going forward in two years, because for us to go to Europe (in 2018) and try to win the Cup is a whole different feat. That's going to require a whole different level of play, of solidarity, of fortitude…

"I've been around these guys for quite -- every year in The Presidents Cup and The Ryder Cup, and I've seen a level of greatness in these guys. Not only are they great men, but they are great golfers, incredible golfers.

"The environment they were put in today, or this week, brought out some of their best golf that I've ever seen from them. And it's truly a remarkable thing to watch, and it's a fun thing to be a part of. I'm very proud to be a part of this team. And to see the level of accomplishment and performance that these guys had this week was just sensational… we made each other proud, but we also hopefully made every American proud."

Europe's Justin Rose – The course set-up was incredibly weak

"Setup-wise, this course can be as tough as you want it to be, there's no doubt about it. I think today, I think if we were all to be honest about it, I thought the setup was incredibly weak. I thought it was very much a pro-am feel in terms of the pin placements. They were all middle of the green.

“I mean, the pin on 17 is an absolute, you know, a joke. It's a 9-iron into the middle of the green and you stiff it. So with a match on the line, you kind of feel like you want to have something -- you want a player to step up a little bit more than they have to. Even 18, if you hit a good drive down there, you've got a wedge into the green, and if you hit a wedge to the middle of the green, you're within 12-foot of the pin. So I just felt coming down the stretch, it was a little soft."

Europe's Rory McIlroy – Bad shots weren't punished - and I'd have been a heckler if I were a fan

"If anything, with the positions the Americans found themselves in, it was more beneficial to them, Bad tee shots weren’t getting punished as much as maybe they should have been.

"But that’s all home advantage. You can do that; that’s what Ryder Cups are all about. Any little advantage you can get when you’re the home team, you have to try to take in that position…

Rory McIlroy - 2016 Ryder Cup

Image credit: Reuters

"We wouldn't encourage any sort of retaliation [in Paris in 2018 for the American fans' bad behaviour]. That's just not who we are, that's not what we do. We want to play this tournament in the manner in which it should be played. Between us, the 12 players, the vice-captains and the captain, and between the 12 players on the U.S. team, it was played in the manner it should be played.

"We have no problems with anyone on either team and, really, it's just a very small minority -- 95 percent of the people out there, the American galleries, are absolutely fantastic… At times it went a little bit too far. But that's to be expected when you are teeing off at 7:45 in the morning, you're seeing people on the first tee with a beer and matches aren't finishing until 4:30, 5:00. I know I would be done at that point, I don't know what I would be saying.

Team Europe Rory McIlroy tees off in the Saturday Morning Foursomes

Image credit: AFP

"A couple of people crossed the line but we'll take it on the chin. We'll move on and we'll definitely not encourage anything like that to happen in France next time around…

"Geez, I know if I was watching The Ryder Cup, I would want to do the same thing. I mean, I'd love to be on the other side of the ropes giving other people abuse, it would be so good. But unfortunately, I have to play inside the ropes and that's a great privilege to have."

Europe vice-captain Ian Poulter – We were outplayed, out-putted, and hats off to the Americans

"The guys brought it this week, and you know, unfortunately we were outplayed, out-putted. We've done it in years past. And hats off to the American Team. It was impressive. It was impressive to watch.

"I watched Rory and Patrick today [Sunday], and… it was very, very impressive. You know, Patrick is one of those guys who gets intense. And so does Rory. And I think that's all in the spirit of the game. It's in the spirit of The Ryder Cup. It was played in the right manner between the players, and you know, it was a good week. Unfortunately we didn't have it."

USA vice-captain Tiger Woods – We forged bonds that will last a lifetime

"As a player that has been on these teams, to be on a different side of it, to be on the vice captaincy side of it has meant so much to me. To be part of getting to know these 12 guys, and these vice captains and our captain on a deeper level has meant so much to me.

"And the relationships that we've forged here this week and actually before this week, these are bonds that will last a lifetime…

Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson - Ryder Cup 2016

Image credit: Eurosport

"But from the player standpoint of it, I like playing. I love these guys. I love being out there, in the fight with these guys.

"I was just in the fight a different way and had to do my role ... and it was pretty cool."

USA vice-captain Bubba Watson – I found my place on the team is to help

"The last event my dad saw me play was the Ryder Cup in 2010. Nine days after, my dad passed away. He was in hospital with a bunch of IVs (intravenous drips) and different things in him to keep him breathing so he could watch his son.

"The two greatest things I've ever wanted to accomplish in golf was to be a Hall of Famer and be a Ryder Cup captain. I think Ryder Cup captain is another form of Hall of Fame. I told the guys last night, this is the greatest thing I have ever done in golf…

"As a God-fearing man I love to help and love to give. I found my place on the team is to help. A couple of guys called me and said, 'Bubba, I need you by my side, shoulder to shoulder' and the last couple of days that's what I did.

"I am so happy for this team. This team was amazing. They took me with open arms and let me be a part of it."

Europe's Danny Willett – Succinct summary of his first Ryder Cup


"Sorry, did you want me to expand on that? Really s**t."

Danny Willett

Image credit: Reuters

European rookie Rafa Cabrera Bello – It's ruined every other tournament for me

"For me, it's been a really good week. I mean, in a way it's kind of ruined every other tournament I'm going to play from now on. It's been really exciting. I mean, getting to share so many moments with all my teammates, learning from the veterans and also just being out there, competing not for us as an individual but for something so much greater than us. It was a very, very huge honour, and it's really been a life-changing week for me."

Europe's Lee Westwood – On the plus-side of being heckled

"On a good point, I got called a turd yesterday, which is the first time since I was about 12 years old, so it made me feel young again."

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