For all the talk and derision of the “task force” formed after the defeat at Gleneagles in 2014, the U.S. Ryder Cup team showed that a reworking of the system was badly needed, resulting in a 17-11 victory over Team Europe at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota. Two leaders in particular were responsible for the turnaround: Patrick Reed and Phil Mickelson. Reed’s incredible fire as he played his matches was on display once again for all to see, culminating in a 1-up victory over the equally-fiery Rory McIlroy in the Sunday singles. Mickelson’s leadership in revamping the U.S. system was evident as the Americans played with cohesion and passion. Their attitude was definitely playing for the win, as contrasted with previous Cups where the attitude seemed to be playing not to lose. To be sure, Mickelson’s comments in 2014 in front of captain Tom Watson were not well received – and still leave some with a sour taste in their mouths – but there is no denying that he is largely responsible for this victory in 2016. Much was made of the U.S. losing 8 out of the last 10 Ryder Cups, but a look at the record shows that the Americans actually didn’t fare that badly on home soil. Since 1983, the U.S. and Europe have alternated wins, meaning the U.S. has won two of the past three in the U.S., three of the last five, four of the last seven, etc. No, the problem is the U.S. has extreme problems winning in Europe (losing the last five), something that must be rectified to truly reverse the trend. One of the factors that may be relevant is that the Europeans routinely play in America while U.S. players rarely play in Europe. Perhaps additional forays onto the European Tour will be made by prospective Team USA members in the future. The USGTF would like to extend its congratulations to Team USA for bringing home the Ryder Cup!      
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