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U.S. Takes The Ryder Cup In A Historically Dominant Win

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

A team made up of the best male golfers in the U.S. is celebrating a dominating win yesterday in the Ryder Cup. The Americans tallied a record-setting number of points in a competition against a European team, which happens every two years. NPR's Tom Goldman has more.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: It was a weekend of booming drives, finessed shots and made putts for a U.S. team that rendered golf's most exciting event anticlimactic by the final day. The traditional wire-to-wire thrills fueled by American versus European nationalism that turned steely golfers into nervous wrecks - those were largely absent in the face of a U.S. onslaught.

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UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting) U-S-A.

GOLDMAN: Not to say there wasn't plenty to cheer for the home country crowds at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Wisconsin, especially when Collin Morikawa clinched the Ryder Cup victory yesterday by tying European Viktor Hovland in their singles match.

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UNIDENTIFIED SPORTSCASTER: The cup is back in the United States' hands.

GOLDMAN: Morikawa getting the clincher was fitting. At 24, he's the youngest on a U.S. team that captain Steve Stricker called a special group of kids. Six Ryder Cup rookies and three other golfers playing in just their second Ryder Cup helped the Americans to a lopsided 19-9 victory. Those 19 points are a record since 1979, when the Ryder Cup went to an America versus Europe competition. Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy from the vanquished Euro team acknowledged the U.S. talent. Eight of the Americans are world ranked in the top 10. And McIlroy also noted how the U.S. players came together as a unit.

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RORY MCILROY: I think that was probably missing in previous generations. But guys like Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, the sort of heartbeat of that U.S. team, they've really bought into the team aspect of Ryder Cups, Presidents Cups. And having guys like that on the team, yeah, I mean, they're going to be formidable opposition from now until, you know, I'm probably not playing Ryder Cups - whenever that is - in hopefully 20 years' time.

GOLDMAN: Europe has dominated the Ryder Cup since 1995 - nine victories compared to four for the U.S. Europeans traditionally have embraced the team concept more. Now the young Americans are doing the same, and they hope it carries over in two years' time in Rome when a newly formidable U.S. team won't have the home course advantage often key to Ryder Cup success.

Tom Goldman, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.