Oh, were they laughing in the locker room. The US Open champs have become the Ryder Cup champs in Europe as they took back the trophy away from the brave Europeans.
Davis Love III has played the best Ryder Cup captain in our country’s history. You could see he has confidence and experience. And he knew his team had to be up for this match against Europe. They put Rory McIlroy, the most prominent presence for Europe in golf, at No. 11. He seemed to have the mind of a hammer at that spot, but it was just as explosive for the US as it was for Rory as he went 2-1. McIlroy just got too hot and their other four players went 1-1-1 on Saturday.
The US played superb golf all weekend. All of their players, especially Phil Mickelson and Justin Thomas – made them look old, slow and ugly. Both of them needed a lot of individual events to play to compete in the match play they needed to play. Justin shot 69, 72 and 71. He had back-to-back bogeys on No. 10 and 11, but then hit a beautiful approach shot on the par 5, and he would save a par to stay in it. I am not surprised they made it to 17, even if they made it to 16 and made the winning putt.
All eyes were on Phil during the first three days, but it was Jason’s best week, winning all three of his matches. The same Mickelson I’ve seen for years, but he had the whole experience and amazing runs on Sunday to bury any opponent he had. He played his ball so far off the ground and to his feet, but was still able to get it in the hole. Phil didn’t even play on the Sunday. He didn’t like the course. He said it was too aggressive and not fair, so he withdrew. He let Thomas go into match play and he was the man down the stretch. Jason played like a great professional.
Also big for the US was playing the three matches against Ian Poulter, who has been there and done that. They were the quietest because everyone knew him was playing for his country. He didn’t speak a word during the two days, and didn’t even have time to throw his drink at someone. He simply laid down his marker and walked off. He played like a young machine, but he got away with it because the US never gave him an inch. To get anything that close is amazing for someone of his stature. I just think it’s great for the Ryder Cup because what a great match it was.
I wish everyone would stop complaining and be excited. Everyone wants everyone to be happy. But the US won and all Americans should be happy for that. And for Ian who says he’s not sad, he’s like, “I’ll be home with my family having a good time.” I think in the end it makes the US team seem like the most confident team to play against. That didn’t always happen before.
I loved the European anthem, “Ode to Joy,” at the start of the weekend, and I was hoping for it to be played at the end, as well. We heard it all over Europe on Friday night. I want America to make our game their game. They’re great at it; they’re athletic and well-built. We should come out and have our game like they do and play well. Come out, play hard and show our pride. I hope this turns out to be a trend for us as we play more matches.
Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith’s 2 books: “The Charmed Life of the NFL Offensive Tackle,” and “Life on the Rise: A Player’s Perspective,” are out. He’s on Twitter at @tyron_smith