Beaten Americans were too gutted to join party
Divide and rule. That is how Europe beat America, according to Rory McIlroy, and the home side were so dispirited only a few of them attended the victory party.
It has become traditional for the two teams to socialise on the Sunday evening but the Americans — understandably, given they had just become the first team in Ryder Cup history to lose a 10-6 advantage on home soil — remained in their own team room playing table tennis while the Europe celebrations went on in the same hotel.
“A few of their wives came in as well, but it was a tough day for them,” said Europe captain, Jose Maria Olazabal. “They didn't want to party.”
The Americans' preference for their own company had held true throughout the tournament, with their performances in the team matches on Friday and Saturday significantly better than their displays in Sunday's singles.
“There were two key pairings for them — Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson then Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson,” said McIlroy.
“I thought all four of them would struggle when they split up — they hadn't that partner to rely on — and all four of them lost in the singles.
“I thought it was very important. They were very comfortable together; once they were on their own it was a different ball game.”
In truth, the European festivities were tame in comparison to past exploits.
“It wasn't wild, they all behaved,” added Olazabal.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Colsaerts, whose debut began with a stunning display as he and Lee Westwood beat Woods and Stricker in Friday's fourballs, likened the trophy to a new arrival in the European family.
“It's safely in our hands and we're glad to take it home,” he admitted. “Everybody at the party wanted to have a bit of a 'conversation with the baby'.”
The big-hitting Belgian was unable to add to that first point but admitted he will be desperate for another taste of the addictive cup atmosphere.
He said: “This is by far the experience that has given me the most joy, it was scary... it's a mix of so many different emotions but when it ends like this, it's priceless.”