Saturday's Ryder Cup match was disappointing for the American team, which did not manage to hold off Team Europe. At the end of the day, the European golfers beat Team USA by a resounding 10.5-5.5. The American team's unity crumbled throughout the day. The players' uneasiness and tensions affected their overall performance.
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) September 30, 2023
Europe drowns out American reaction in Ryder
The U.S. team needed to win it all, but the European team wasn't going to make it easy for them. The Americans started strong. Team Europe's captain Luke Donald decided to pull Jon Rahm. He thought the Spaniard should rest after playing 54 holes in 30 hours. Despite Rahm's absence, English veteran Justin Rose and Scottish rookie McIntyre managed to beat Spieth and Thomas. Team Europe ended the day with a 10.5-5.5 lead. Right now, Europe only needs to win four points from the last 12 matches to win the cup.
Team USA's performance has been harshly criticized and the team's unity is crumbling. Team captain Zack Johnson said that his team wasn't feeling their best. He also complained that "the grass is very dry and the height of the rough is somewhat exaggerated for our way of playing.” After being clobbered on the first day, tensions increased considerably.
Team USA is dealing with health issues
In addition, Johnson hinted during a press conference that Team USA was hit with a virus that is affecting the players' performance. "There have been some unforeseen things that we have had to deal with health-wise. It's not an excuse, but I will say that I am grateful that we have a doctor on the team. We are fighting unexpected things internally. There are certain things that cannot be controlled and we are trying to control the controllable ones. We have some congestion and symptoms that make the energy a little low," he said.
As if that were not enough, the internal division is becoming more noticeable. Several players, led by Cantley, refused to wear the official cap in protest because they were not paid to participate in the tournament. In addition, they refused to allow Netflix cameras, which were there recording a documentary, to access the area reserved for the players. Tensions rose throughout the day and Northern Irishman McIlroy got into an altercation with one of Cantley's caddies.
A furious Rory McIlroy confronted a Team USA caddie in the car park, after he was spotted waving his cap in McIlroy's face when lining up his final putt on 18 😳pic.twitter.com/Ha4r5hDsGi
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 30, 2023