Not only was it disappointing, but it may have been the most embarrassing performance by a United States team in Ryder Cup history as it lost 17½ to 10½ after going in as the favorite with supposedly its strongest team ever.
One of the few bright spots for the Americans, however, was the play of Salt Lake native Tony Finau, who was the last player selected, as a captain’s pick by Jim Furyk. Finau ended up with the second-best record for the U.S. after producing the largest margin of victory in any match with his 6 & 4 thrashing of England’s Tommy Fleetwood Sunday at Le Golf National in Paris.
Fleetwood had been the hottest player in the Ryder Cup along with Francesco Molinari as the two had both compiled 4-0 records as partners in the four-ball and foursomes events. But Finau dominated the match by winning seven holes on the front nine, including five straight from holes 5 through 9.
“It has been an incredible week,” Finau said afterwards. “I haven’t felt nerves in a tournament and this type of excitement like this ever. It’s been a cool experience for me, and I’m proud to be on this team."
Finau finished with a 2-1 record for the U.S., teaming with Brooks Koepka for a 1 up victory on Friday morning and then losing a close match to Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia 2 & 1 on Saturday morning. Only Justin Thomas, at 4-1, had a better record than Finau, as Webb Simpson also went 2-1.6 comments on this story
In hindsight, Furyk should have played Finau and Simpson more and left Tiger Woods (0-4), Dustin Johnson (1-4) and Rickie Fowler (1-3) on the bench.
Finau, along with Europe's Henrik Stenson, had the lowest scores Sunday relative to par, as both were 6-under through 14 holes. Finau had six birdies, including a 1-foot gimme at No. 7, a 20-footer at No. 8, a 15-footer at No. 9 and a 10-footer at No. 11.
Finau, who won more that $6 million last season, including his FedEx Cup bonus, will compete next week at the Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarn golf courses in Scotland.