Rory McIlroy showed the doubters exactly what the Ryder Cup means to him, breaking down in tears after putting a blue point on the board in the face of a sea of red as America romped to a record-breaking 19-9 Ryder Cup win.
McIlroy bounced back from a disastrous two days at Whistling Straits, repaying Padraig Harrington’s trust for putting him out first in the singles with a dominant 3&2 win over Xander Schauffele. However, McIlroy’s point would prove futile as the American juggernaut rolled on regardless with Collin Morikawa’s half against victory Hovland getting the USA to the magic 14.5 winning mark with plenty to spare.
An emotional Rory McIlroy after his singles victory.#TeamEurope #RyderCup pic.twitter.com/nhvkUlVV5V
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) September 26, 2021
For McIlroy, who was 0 from 3 prior to his singles victory, his first point of the week proved scant consolation after a disappointing overall display.
“I love being a part of this team, I love my team-mates so much, and I should have done more for them this week,” a distraught McIlroy told Sky Sports. “I’m glad I put a point on the board for Europe today, but I just can’t wait to get another shot at this.
“It is by far the best experience in golf, and I hope the boys and girls watching this today will aspire to play in this event, or the Solheim Cup, because there’s nothing better than being a part of a team, especially with the bond that we have in Europe.
“No matter what happens after this, I’m proud of every one of our players this week. I’m proud of our captain, our vice-captains, and I just wish I could have done a little more for the team. It’s been a tough week.”
McIlroy then spoke to Golf Channel as he continued to fight back the tears in his efforts to articulate just how much the Ryder Cup means to him.
“I’m just incredibly proud to be a part of this team, to be a team-mate of all these guys,” he added. “We’ve had a great time. You know, it looks like it’s not going to pan out the way we want on the golf course, and I’ve been extremely disappointed that I haven’t contributed for more the team.
“It’s been a tough week, but the more I play in this event, the more I realise that it’s the best event in golf, bar none. I love being a part of it. I can’t wait to be a part of many more.
“I have never really cried or got emotional over what I’ve done as an individual. I couldn’t give a s***. But this team, and what it feels like to be a part of, to see Sergio break records, to see Jon Rahm come into his own this week, to see one of my best friends, Shane Lowry, make his Ryder Cup debut.
“All that, it’s phenomenal and I’m so happy to be a part of it. As I said I’m disappointed that I didn’t contribute more this week, but you know, in two years’ time, we’ll go again and we’ll give it another go again.
“It sucks losing. It sucks not being able to be competitive. I’m glad I put a point on the board for Europe today and that was my goal and mission and I was able to accomplish that. But when I look back on this week, it will be a case of lost opportunity.
“We’ve been up against it, but the American Team have been total class in terms of how they played. You know, they have been dominant. They have been really, really good and we haven’t been able to put up as much of a fight as we want.
“I think I’m emotional, as well because I wanted to do this for Padraig, too. It’s his captaincy, and he’s had a hell of a career, and It would have been an unbelievable thing to cap off with a winning Ryder Cup.
“For me I haven’t been able to contribute as much as I wanted to that but it’s still such a great experience to be part of these Ryder Cup teams and this will just fill the fire even more for us in two years’ time in Rome.”
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