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What Can the USA Learn From the Last Two Ryder Cups on Home Soil?

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The Ryder Cup will begin in September at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin as the United States aim to regain the crown from Europe following their defeat in Paris in 2018. Steve Stricker is the man charged with returning the cup into American hands to follow in the footsteps of Davis Love III, who was triumphant when the tournament was last played in the States five years ago. Since 2000, the Ryder Cup has not been a happy hunting ground for the USA.

The Stars and Stripes have won only two out of the last nine competitions, which have included humbling defeats on home soil in 2004 and 2012. Stricker and his team are the leading contenders for the crown in the golf betting odds at -175 to win the Ryder Cup, but the States have not always been able to cope with the pressure of being named favorites. Those looking to keep up with the latest golf betting developments will be interested to see how the two teams coped with the weight of expectations. We’ll now look back at the last two Ryder Cups to have been held in the United States.

2012 – Medinah

After a defeat at Celtic Manor in 2010, Davis Love III took the reins as captain at Medinah in a bid to regain the cup. He had a strong collection of talent with Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson leading the way at the top along with talented rookies including recent major winners Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson. There appeared to be all the right ingredients to dominate the Europeans led by Jose Maria Olazabal.

The United States took charge of matters in the middle two sessions of the team rounds, before storming into a 10-5 lead with an advantage in the final fourballs contest. The Ryder Cup would turn due to magic from Ian Poulter, who defeated Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson alongside Rory McIlroy. Momentum turned from that point onwards and the USA had a final day to forget, mustering only 3.5 points out of a possible 12. Love and his players were powerless to stop the onslaught and succumbed to the ‘Miracle at Medinah’.

2016 – Hazeltine

Love III took on the captaincy for a second time with a point to prove. The States were looking to avoid a fourth-straight defeat in the Ryder Cup, having suffered a heavy defeat at Gleneagles in 2014. There was no Woods for the States, but there was ample talent in the ranks with Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, and Brooks Koepka leading the next generation of stars.

The USA enjoyed a dream start to the tournament, sweeping the opening session of foursomes, achieving the feat for the first time since 1975. They fended off a European comeback on the second day, taking a three-point lead into the singles. There was redemption for Love III as he dominates the singles, securing the five points they required to secure the crown. Reed and Koepka delivered for their captain, producing dominant records over the course of the tournament. It was a perfect week for the States and one that they will be desperate to emulate in 2021.

Looking Ahead

Stricker will have an embarrassment of riches to select from, including new players on the rise in the form of Collin Morikawa and old hands such as Webb Simpson, who was the top contender to win the Wyndham Championship ahead of the Ryder Cup. Stricker has to find the right balance and learn from Love III about cohesion and how to channel momentum over the three days. It will make or break their ability to regain the Ryder Cup.