Team Europe fell to a 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits in September, the biggest in their history; Europe are expected to name a successor to Padraig Harrington as captain in early 2022, ahead of the 2023 contest in Italy.
Friday 24 December 2021 06:15, UK
After the postponement of the Ryder Cup in 2020 we saw its return in September. The result went the way of many Ryder Cups over the last couple of decades with a home win, although this one went even further with a record-breaking points difference between the two teams.
So what went wrong from a European perspective and should we be worried about the strength of America, both on and now off the course, going forward? As the Ryder Cup landscape of both teams has evolved, the answer like many when trying to project future outcomes is somewhere in the middle.
Let's start with America. There is now a difference in that they have now got their house in order to a standard we have not witnessed before. They have always had great players, but the management of those players and their cohesiveness as a unit has never been better than it was at Whistling Straits.
That cohesiveness, combined with their youthfulness and freshness has made them a formidable adversary, the best I've seen in my time playing, captaining and now commentating on Ryder Cups.
In a nutshell, America got their act together having carefully learned from their mistakes. These factors, combined with the relentlessly talented production line of quality players they produce, has made them a formidable package that they in all likelihood will be taking forward.
If we Europeans are to take this as the new baseline against which we will have to compete, how do we approach this new force? A clear understanding and evolution of our winning template as Europeans is the key.
It was clear that behind the scenes we may have come to this year's Ryder Cup with bonding as a team well in place, arguably better than ever. However, bonding without performance does not ensure results, and we hugely lacked that vital ingredient.
The pervasive narrative straight after and since the Ryder Cup remains that America were too strong for us and that factor, combined with the lack of European support away from home, ensured that we were comprehensively outplayed by a formidable American team. Whilst there is no denying the undoubted strength of America, there were other reasons we lost so heavily.
Our scoring against the course for example was way below the standard needed to compete in a Ryder Cup, averaging around even par in the eight foursomes games, just better than four under in the eight fourball matches and the two under in the 12 singles matches. On a course and in conditions set for low scoring, we produced play that left us open to the record defeat we suffered.
As our European players migrate more and more to the PGA Tour and base themselves and their families in America, it is important that we work hard not to lose our identity as Europeans. The gnarly ways that we have used to thrive in past Ryder Cups are key to us playing with an underdog mindset and a siege mentality.
The European Tour and Ryder Cup Europe have always done an extensive review post-Ryder Cups and this year will I'm sure be no different. This review will provide some useful learnings from Whistling Straits to help with their future planning.
There has been some media talk lately on who the next captain will be. Whoever will end up captaining Europe, it will be vitally important that he oversees a return to an attitude and performance that has worked so well for us in the past.
We need to re-establish factors that will lead to the kind of enhanced performances from so many on our team, with some performances going above and beyond their world rankings positions. We have achieved this in the past, so why not again?
The Ryder Cup is a dynamic that is not won solely on world rankings or individual play, but by creating a team platform, environment, partnerships and a united competitiveness in which players can excel is the obvious secret sauce to winning matches - performance and scoring.
Relive USA's record-breaking Ryder Cup victory this New Year's Eve on Sky Sports Golf. Watch the Sunday singles repeated - in full - from 10am on December 31!