Patrick Reed won an important point, if not the winning one on Sunday, but provided the impetus for the United States’ first Ryder Cup victory since 2008.
Reed defeated Rory McIlroy, 1 up, in a remarkable singles opener at Hazeltine National Golf Club on Sunday, setting the tone for the Americans’ 17-11 victory over the Europeans. It was the widest margin of victory for the U.S. since it won by nine points in 1981.
The winning point was delivered by Ryan Moore, who wasn’t a member of the team until last Sunday evening, when Love made him his final captain’s pick. Moore came from 2 down to Lee Westwood with three to play, eagled the 16th hole and birdied the 17th to square the match, then won the 18th with a par to push the U.S. past the 14 ½-point threshold it needed to prevail.
“Amazing,” Moore said. “Absolutely amazing.”
The victory allowed U.S. Captain Davis Love III to atone for a stinging defeat at Medinah in 2012 in his first go as captain. Moreover, the victory vindicated the Task Force the U.S. assembled in an attempt to end the European domination that saw it winning seven of the previous nine cups.
“I’m just proud of these guys,” Love said. “They had a lot of pressure on them for the alst two years. Every time we picked a guy there was more and more pressure on the team. I’ve never seen a team come together like a family like this.”
Reed and McIlroy collectively had eight birdies and an eagle through eight holes of a match that came down to the par-4 18th. After McIlroy holed a birdie putt at 18, Reed holed a 10-foot birdie putt to secure the victory.
Reed went 3-1-1 in this his second Ryder Cup appearance. Brandt Snedeker, meanwhile, defeated Andy Sullivan, 3 and 1, and finished with a 3-0 record. And Ryder Cup rookie Brooks Koepka defeated Danny Willett, 5 and 4, to finish with a 3-1 record.
Other U.S. winners on Sunday were Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Zach Johnson. Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia, meanwhile, played to a draw in a match in which they made a combined 18 birdies, 10 of them by Mickelson.