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Ryder Cup: Attitude the key to ending barren run says Davis Love

By Phil Casey

Victorious captain Davis Love hailed a change in attitude after the United States won the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008 and inflicted Europe's heaviest defeat for 35 years.

Darren Clarke's side needed to overturn a three-point deficit in Sunday's 12 singles matches at Hazeltine to claim an unprecedented fourth straight win in the biennial contest.

But although they won three of the first five matches convincingly, Patrick Reed edged a highly-charged opening contest with Rory McIlroy to strike a major psychological blow from which the holders never looked likely to recover.

Wins for Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Brandt Snedeker and Ryan Moore took the home side over the winning line and the final score of 17-11 was the biggest winning margin for the United States since a nine-point success at Walton Heath in 1981.

A sixth defeat in the previous seven contests at Gleneagles in 2014 had prompted the formation of an 11-man 'task force' to examine all aspects of the US Ryder Cup process, with Love reappointed captain despite being in charge when Europe staged the 'Miracle at Medinah' in 2012.

"We've been kicked around for so long and you keep losing so you feel you have to do something different," Love said.

"There was a bit of rebuilding to do and a little bit of a shift in attitude. We are not going to win every one, but we are going to go into them with a better attitude.''

Clarke's selection of Thomas Pieters proved an inspired choice as the 24-year-old set a record for a European rookie by winning four points, but his other wild cards - Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer - produced just one point from seven matches.

The decision to split the successful pairing of Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello on Saturday also backfired, but Clarke said: "At the end of the day, the American guys played better than we did.

"They holed the putts when they had to and we lipped out. But that's happened the other way around for quite some time.

"I couldn't be more proud of the guys that I'm surrounded with. They did everything I asked of them."

Belfast Telegraph


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