Ryder Cup: Player ratings for Team Europe in their record defeat at Whistling Straits
Team USA beat Padraig Harrington's players 19-9 at Whistling Straits - the biggest margin of victory in the modern Ryder Cup era; Spanish duo Rahm and Garcia the standouts on a tough weekend for Team Europe
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 27/09/21 3:32pm
After Europe suffered a record-breaking defeat to Team USA at the 43rd Ryder Cup in Wisconsin, we rate the player performances for Padraig Harrington's side...
Jon Rahm, 8 (out of 10)
Played 5 Won 3 Lost 1 Halved 1
The world No 1 played like a world No 1 throughout, and we shudder to think what further humiliation Europe would have suffered had Rahm's illness last week been serious enough to rule him out of the contest. His partnership with Sergio was inspired, winning three out of three, but the strains of carrying the European team took a heavy toll in the singles, losing the first four holes to Scottie Scheffler in a 4&3 defeat. His final-day blip had no bearing on the outcome, but his overall performance in 2018 and 2021 bodes well for the future
Sergio Garcia, 8
P4 W3 L1 H0
Those who questioned Padraig Harrington's decision to award the veteran a captain's pick were silenced by the Ryder Cup history-maker, who extended his all-time record points score while also surpassing Nick Faldo for the most matches won. Garcia might have been overpowered by Bryson DeChambeau on one of the most one-sided final days in the event's history, but he had already shown enough to prove he could have another couple of playing appearances in the tank. He'll be 43 when the US defend the trophy in Rome, but he still has the enthusiasm of a 23-year-old when it comes to the Ryder Cup.
Tyrrell Hatton, 6
P4 W1 L2 H1
Hatton was one of many Europeans to arrive in Wisconsin with question marks over his form, having missed the cut on four of his previous six starts, but the fiery Englishman showed Poulter-like qualities in an encouraging second appearance. His brilliant win with Shane Lowry late on Saturday was one of the few highlights for the visitors, as was his birdie at the 18th to snatch a half with Jon Rahm in Friday's final match. He ran into a red-hot Justin Thomas in the singles, but he can leave Whistling Straits with his head held high.
Shane Lowry, 6
P3 W1 L2 H0
The 2019 Open champion has waited a long time for his Ryder Cup debut, and he embraced the spirit of the competition with an inspired performance alongside Hatton in Saturday's fourballs, holing a superb 12-foot putt on the final green to beat Tony Finau and Harris English. It was a spirited response from Lowry having suffered a heavy defeat in his first outing with Rory McIlroy, but there was little he could do against in-form FedExCup champion Patrick Cantlay on Sunday.
Viktor Hovland, 5
P5 W0 L3 H2
The charismatic young Norwegian has been touted as a potential Ryder Cup superstar, but winning just half a point over the first two days was a poor return considering Hovland enjoyed leads deep into three of his matches. He scrambled another good half against Open champion Collin Morikawa on Sunday and, although he did not manage a win, his infectious enthusiasm was a feature of the European side and will surely continue to be a feature for many years to come.
Tommy Fleetwood, 5
P3 W0 L1 H2
After his record-breaking exploits alongside Francesco Molinari in 2018, Fleetwood's second appearance was a let-down. Despite finding some form in Italy and at Wentworth in the build-up, the Englishman played only twice over the first two days, settling for a half point in Saturday's fourballs with Viktor Hovland when they were three up after eight, and the same pairing were overpowered by DeChambeau and Scheffler on Saturday. He did well to halve his singles against Jordan Spieth on Sunday, but going winless in Wisconsin was not in the script after his heroics in Paris.
Rory McIlroy, 4
P4 W1 L3 H0
So much was expected of McIlroy at Whistling Straits, but the mistakes that have blighted his season continued to set him back when Europe needed him to perform to his previous Ryder Cup standards. He suffered two heavy defeats with Ian Poulter, another with Shane Lowry, with each match not getting past the 15th hole, and he was left out of a session for the first time in his Ryder Cup career. To his credit, he salvaged pride with a brilliant win over Xander Schauffele in the lead singles match before giving the most emotional interviews of his career, leaving us in no doubt just how much the Ryder up means to him. He'll be back.
Ian Poulter, 4
P3 W1 L2 H0
The determination and desire remain unquestionably intact, but "The Postman" was unable to deliver. He did break one Ryder Cup record before the competition had started, becoming a captain's pick for the fifth time in his seven appearances, but his partnership with McIlroy failed to fire on the first two days. But, like McIlroy, he repaired his reputation with victory over Tony Finau on Sunday. Unlike McIlroy, he managed to get through his interview without the tears … just. He will be in Rome in 2023, but will he have his clubs?
Lee Westwood, 4
P3 W1 L2 H0
The veteran equalled Nick Faldo's record of 11 Ryder Cup appearances, a nice symmetry having partnered Faldo with much success on his debut in 1997. But, 24 years on, this week was a disappointment for the veteran as he and Matt Fitzpatrick struggled to cope with the firepower of their opponents, although he defied his aching legs to win three of the last four holes to beat Harris English in his singles. If that was to be his final Ryder Cup match, it was a nice note to bow out on as a player. Westwood is the favourite to captain Europe in Rome, and he'll be up for the challenge of regaining the Ryder Cup.
Bernd Wiesberger, 4
P3 W0 L3 H0
The first Austrian to feature in the Ryder Cup, Wiesberger looked calm and composed in the opening fourballs match on Friday as he and Paul Casey fought hard in a narrow defeat to Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele. Wiesberger looked on course for his first point on Saturday morning along with fellow rookie Viktor Hovland, going three up early against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth only to flag on the back nine. His singles against Brooks Koepka followed a similar pattern as he ended the week with zero points, but it genuinely seemed that he played better than his results suggest.
Matt Fitzpatrick, 3
P3 W0 L3 H0
Fitzpatrick's second appearance was similar to his first at Hazeltine in 2016, and the Sheffield star is still looking for his first point in the Ryder Cup. There was no faulting his effort and commitment in his partnership with Westwood, and they did well to take both their foursomes matches as far as the 17th. Put out last in the singles, like Hazeltine, his match against Daniel Berger concluded long after the US were confirmed as overall winners. All square going up the last, a win for Fitzpatrick would have averted a record defeat. He put his second in the water, lost his fifth match in a row, and that will be hard to take.
Paul Casey, 3
P4 W0 L4 H0
Like Westwood and Poulter, it's possible we may have seen Casey's final appearance in the Ryder Cup. If that is the case, then Casey will, unfortunately, be bowing out on a low note. The veteran Englishman was winless over the first three sessions, with three different partners, and he was just unable to prevent Dustin Johnson from completing a perfect week in Sunday's singles.