GUIDONIA MONTECELIO – Only one American truly had reason to celebrate after the Ryder Cup ended with another home win for Europe.
Patrick Cantlay is getting married Monday.
The rest of the U.S. players were glum as could be as they sipped beers during the post-competition news conference Sunday. Europe’s win streak at home in golf’s biggest team event will now extend beyond three decades.
After getting swept for the first time in Friday’s opening session of foursomes — also failing to win a match on the first day for the first time — the Americans never recovered and were beaten 16½ to 11½ by a European team that got in front early at every opportunity and produced an array of shot-making that reverberated around the designed amphitheaters that so many holes resembled at Marco Simone.
“They just holed a lot more putts, a few more chip-ins,” Brooks Koepka said.
Zach Johnson’s six captain’s picks — Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler, Sam Burns and Justin Thomas — combined to win four matches.
Fowler’s record in road Ryder Cups fell to 1-8-5.
Cantlay, who finished 2-2-0, had never seen Marco Simone until this week because he had a bachelor’s party planned well before Johnson decided on the dates for a team scouting trip that was held a few weeks ago.
Cantlay was asked by a British reporter if he didn’t wear a U.S. team hat this week because he didn’t want to have a tan line on his head for his wedding.
“Well, I am getting married tomorrow, yes. I’m very excited about that,” Cantlay said, sparking Johnson and the other 11 players to bang the tables in front of them in celebration.
It was one of the few chances the Americans had to smile all week.
Moments earlier, Spieth had to put his arm around his captain when Johnson appeared on the verge of tears after addressing the spectators before the trophy presentation.
“Regret is a strong word, but I wish I would have done a better job,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what it looks like, never will, but it’s not a matter of anything other than Team Europe scored more points.”
On Saturday, there was an unsubstantiated report from Sky Sports — the broadcast partner for the European tour — that Cantlay caused a rift among the Americans by alleging that he thinks they should be paid at the Ryder Cup.
Cantlay denied the report and one American after another talked about what a great atmosphere there was within the team.
“Everybody gets along and everybody just is happy to be around each other,” Thomas said. “There’s usually a couple misfits or people that just aren’t a part of the team, but we all were one.”
Even Koepka, the only U.S. player selected from Saudi-backed LIV Golf, was on board.
“It was exciting to see everybody,” Koepka said. “I felt like had not seen the guys in a few months.”
Rookie Max Homa accounted for the most U.S. points with 3½.
Homa momentarily delayed the Europeans’ celebration when he overcame a penalty drop on 18 to win his match against Matt Fitzpatrick, who had a chance to clinch it.
Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler produced just one point. But he halved the opening singles match with Jon Rahm after he and Koepka were routed by 9 and 7 a day earlier by Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg — for a record loss in any format in the Ryder Cup — after only 11 holes of his foursomes match with Koepka. That left Scheffler in tears.
“I was emotional after the round because I care a lot about this tournament. … These team events are tough to beat,” Scheffler said. “This felt like the closest group of guys that we’ve had. And at the time I felt like I was letting these guys down.
“After finishing on 11 yesterday, I had plenty of time to rest and get ready for this morning.”
Most of the Americans had not played for more than a month entering the Ryder Cup, with the PGA Tour schedule ending before Labor Day.
“Give us a week after the Tour Championship, or two weeks after, and then go, instead of five,” Spieth said.
After hosting the next Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black, the Americans’ next chance to win on the road will come in 2027 at Adare Manor in Ireland.
“Four years from now,” Johnson said, “hopefully we’ll implement a better process certainly than I did.”
AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson contributed.
AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf