The US Ryder Cup team's rusty performance at this week's tournament has created a buzz on the internet. Fans have blamed captain Zach Johnson for his pairing. However, the vice-captain of the team Davis Love III acknowledged that it's all because of a month-break of the American players.
The US team players last played at the Tour Championship and had been on a break after that. Nonetheless, Max Homa and Justin Thomas played at the Fortinet Championship, but still have not played in many tournaments in the last few weeks. Meanwhile, the European team has been constantly practising and has played in tournaments on the DP World Tour.
In a conversation with golf analyst Paul Azinger, Davis spoke about the US team and said that the month-long break has affected the players' performance at the 2023 Ryder Cup.
Before the Sunday singles, Azinger discussed Johnson's roster at the biennial event. He mentioned Davis Love's comment saying that Davis told him:
"Zinger you can quote me if you want, you don't have to, but frankly I think we came in flat, we came in rusty, we weren't ready to go."
The opening two days of the Ryder Cup were embarrassing for the US squad. The European team won each of the foursome games on Friday. They wiped out the US team on Day 1's morning session.
The Americans attempted to get back in the game, but they could only add 1.5 points on Friday afternoon. On Saturday, the squad once more struggled with their performance, but they improved in four-ball matches. The US team trailed the European team by five points going into the tournament's final day.
"His experience and charisma is always motivating" - Jon Rahm praises Europe Ryder Cup team's vice-captain
Since Friday, the European team has dominated the Ryder Cup field. Fans gave their team's captain Luke Donald praise for his leadership.
At a press conference following the second day, Jon Rahm expressed gratitude to the European captain and vice-captains for their assistance in making the competition a success.
He praised Jose Maria Olazabal, the vice-captain of the European squad, for his assistance throughout the Ryder Cup. Rahm said (via Golf Digest):
"Tyrrell [Hatton] and I have had Chema [Olazabal] following us. To have somebody with his experience and charisma is always motivating. He's seen it all and he's got incredible stories. Whenever we need to rely on him, he's somebody we can depend on.
"We have past winning captains [Bjorn and Olazabal] as vice captains, Ryder Cup champions as vice captains [Colsaerts and both Molinaris]. So everybody has a little bit of something they can share with the rest of the group," he added.
The 2023 Ryder Cup is heading for the final, which will take place on Sunday, Oct.1 at the Marco Simone Golf Course.
Sunday singles matches
- Jon Rahm vs Scottie Scheffler
- Viktor Hovland vs Collin Morikawa
- Justin Rose vs Patrick Cantlay
- Rory McIlroy vs Sam Burns
- Matt Fitzpatrick vs Max Homa
- Tyrrell Hatton vs Brian Harman
- Ludvig Åberg vs Brooks Koepka
- Sepp Straka vs Justin Thomas
- Nicolai Højgaard vs Xander Schauffele
- Shane Lowry vs Jordan Spieth
- Tommy Fleetwood vs Rickie Fowler
- Robert MacIntyre vs Wyndham Clark