Here are some key takeaways after the U.S.’s historic 19-9 rout of Europe during this weekend’s Ryder Cup in Wisconsin.
Was this a sign of U.S. dominance for years to come, or an aberration?
The answer to that question will be completely up to the European side, which no doubt is on full alert after the figurative hurricane that struck it over the weekend.
There was a lot of talk about how this was the start of a new era in American golf, and for good reason, with eight players on the U.S. squad in their 20s and even more young standouts who didn’t make the team in the pipeline for future Ryder Cup squads.
Not only are the U.S. players young, they are high up in the world rankings and seem to have a passion for the Ryder Cup that past U.S. players haven’t.
With that in mind, Europe is already likely trying to formulate plans to counter all the existing and future American firepower for the 2023 Ryder Cup in Italy.
Europe, which had four players in their 40s on this year’s roster, will have two years to try and cultivate whatever young talent it has on its tour.
Of course, being at home and on a course that’s more suited to their style of golf will help the Europeans, but it still might not matter unless it can find some more world-class younger talent that can compete with the U.S.
Did you see Brooks and Bryson actually, gasp, hug?
OK, it took some prodding from teammates and it seemed half-hearted and staged.
But after months of not being shy in public about their disdain for one another, U.S. players Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau actually hugged it out a bit following the U.S. rout, both on the course during the celebration and after the post-round media session.
No, it probably doesn’t mean their feud is over and they’ll all of a sudden become friends.
But after saying there likely wouldn’t be any handshakes or hugs at the Ryder Cup — although the two said all along they would put personal differences aside for the week for the benefit of the team — it was still a sight to behold.
To view a video of the two hugging it out after the news conference from ESPN, click or tap here.
The course in Italy for 2023 draws hilarious criticism from players.
The next home of the Ryder Cup will be the Marco Simone Golf Club just outside of Rome, Italy, and there were some interesting and hilarious observations from golfers about the place, according to Golf Monthly.
The Europeans typically try and play home Ryder Cups on courses that are shorter, narrower and with thicker rough to encourage accuracy over the power game Americans prefer, but one golfer feels that won’t happen at Marco Simone.
“Historically, the Americans have been longer than us,” one anonymous player said to Golf Monthly. “And here, there are a few places where you can really cut the corners if you bomb it. Also, putting on undulating, quick greens is what the Americans are more used to. On both counts, we will likely be at a disadvantage.”
One hole in particular, the par-3, 219-yard seventh hole, has drawn criticism from players.
“The green is horrendous. It looks like a cartoon where the character pulls up quickly and the ground curls up like a carpet,” one player said in the article.
Another one had an even more amusing critique.
“The green is appalling. It looks like the shaper was on a mission to screw the architect. They can’t be friends,” the player said.
Who will be captains in 2023?
For Europe, all signs are pointing toward Lee Westwood, who actually made the team this year as a 48-year-old. He saw firsthand the force the U.S. team is becoming, and knows there’s lots of work to do, starting now, to combat it.
For the U.S., it will likely be Zach Johnson, a vice captain this past weekend and two-time major winner. In recent years, the U.S. has done a better job of promoting captains who have been vice captains at previous Ryder Cups, who have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t -- rather than just throwing someone with no exposure to the process at the job.
Oh, and both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are also likely future captains. Woods could also be considered for 2023 if Johnson isn’t the man. Mickelson, another one of Steve Stricker’s vice captains this past weekend, is all but a lock to be the captain in 2025.