The 2023 USA Ryder Cup side boast six major champions and an Olympic Gold medal winner but they were left reeling after an historic 4-0 drubbing at the hands of their European Team rivals in the opening foursomes matches.
Luke Donald’s men didn’t allow their USA team rivals to get in front in a single one of the four matches on the host Marco Simone course.
And it was history in the making with Europe winning all four foursomes matches to become the first European team to achieve such a feat since 1979 when Continental Europeans came in to bolster GB & I in the biennial competition.
Paul McGinley, captain of the victorious 2014 European Team, working in his analyst capacity for Sky Sports, pulled no punches in singling out the visiting Americans for criticism.
“I knew that Europe were primed and they have a lot of form in their team, and I know Luke is doing a fantastic job behind the scenes but I knew America were a little bit unprepared”, said McGinley.
“A lot of their players have not played since the Tour Championship, and just look rusty and lacking energy whereas our team, at this time look great.
“There was a number of things that went Europe’s way and there’s also that word ‘momentum’ and the statistics back-up what I am saying as momentum is huge in these team events. I know that. I’ve been there and I’ve felt it, and I understand that.
“The statistics back it up and the team that wins the first session in a Ryder Cup goes on to win the Ryder Cup 60% of the time. That’s a huge significant thing.
“Then there’s the team that leads after the first day goes on to win the Ryder Cup on 70% of the time.
“So, getting those wheels in motion because so much of this game, particularly team events, is played in the head and when you have those good vibes normally play better.
“However, America will kick in the afternoon and there is nothing surer”.