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Ryder Cup comment: Europe 'studs' secure emphatic win

The Gleneagles slogan stated "where legends are forged" but Europe's latest win was built on stars already established in Ryder Cup folklore.

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Form picks such as Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose all justified their lofty world rankings as the USA were put to the sword in a 16 1/2 - 11 1/2 romp.

As losing captain Tom Watson so succinctly put it, the Americans played with honour and pride, but Europe had the "studs".

Tournament stalwarts like Ian Poulter and, especially, Graeme McDowell showed glimpses of the grit and determination which has served the boys in blue so well in the past.

But no longer is the victory talk of passion, heart and team spirit being the winning traits - this time Europe simply seemed bigger, stronger and better.

There was no need for the last-gasp heroics from McDowell which saw the hosts shade a titanic tussle at Celtic Manor back in 2010.

Nor did Paul McGinley have to rally his troops for a closing-day comeback which sparked their dramatic success at Medinah two years ago.

This time Europe started as favourites, thanks to having four of the five highest-rated golfers on show in McIlroy, Garcia, Stenson and Rose, with only world number four Jim Furyk splitting them in the rankings table.

The visitors enjoyed a brief flurry in Friday morning's fourballs, but from then on it was Europe in front all the way until Jamie Donaldson clinched victory in fitting fashion by pitching majestically close to the hole for a 4 and 3 thrashing of Keegan Bradley.

Even Alex Ferguson admitted his pre-tournament pep talk probably had little effect on the outcome, with the former Manchester United manager confessing: "I probably got more out of it than they did."

Stats-wise, a 7-1 drubbing in the foursomes would suggest that either Watson got his pairings wrong in those sections, or the USA players simply struggle with this format.

But the overall feeling was that Europe merely played up to potential and confirmed their superiority.

Rose contributed a team-high four points and summed up the desire and hunger to retain the trophy by coming from four down to take a half off Hunter Mahan on day three.

The tributes also flowed for McGinley, with Garcia declaring: "He did things a little differently, but he did it with style."

McGinley himself showed a touch of class when stating that just being linked with his golfing hero Watson made it a special occasion for him.

But Phil Mickelson was less gracious in defeat as he hinted at dissention in the ranks over how the American team was managed by suggesting they had suffered from sub-standard leadership since Paul Azinger guided them to victory in 2008.

"Paul helped the players invest in the whole process by having a say in who they played with and who the picks would be," commented Mickelson. "He had a gameplan that helped us play our best golf."

The one bright spot for the Americans will be the performances of rookie trio Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker, who all contributed good points, with the first named particularly pumped up when beating Stenson in the singles.

However, the USA team will need quite a few more have-a-go heroes like the 24-year-old Texan if they are to stop the rot at Hazeltine in Minnesota in 2016.

In the meantime though, the disappointed Americans will have the cheeky chants of Europe's fans ringing in their ears: "Can we play you every week?"

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