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Rory McIlroy breaks down in tears after Ryder Cup struggles

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Rory McIlroy, the 32-year-old from Northern Ireland, has won four major championships and has all the money he’ll ever need.

Yet on Sunday at Whistling Straits after winning his Ryder Cup singles match against Xander Schauffele, McIlroy, who’d entered the match 0-3 this weekend, broke down into tears in greenside TV interviews, apologizing to his teammates for his performance.

“I’ve never really cried or cared about what I’ve done as an individual; I couldn’t give a [bleep],’’ McIlroy said through tears, later apologizing to the interviewer for cursing. “I love being a part of this team. I love my teammates so much and I should have done more for them this week.

“I just can’t wait to get another shot at this. It is by far the best experience in golf and I hope there are boys and girls watching this today who aspire to play in this event or the Solheim Cup. No matter what happens later, I am proud of every single player, I’m proud of the captain and vice-captains.’’

Rory McIlroy (l.) is consoled by Shane Lowry during the Ryder Cup on Sept. 26, 2021.
Getty Images

McIlroy, after losing his first match, in Friday morning foursomes, was benched for the first time in his six-time Ryder Cup career, ending a streak of 26 consecutive matches. He then went on to lose twice on Saturday, which extended his losing streak to five matches, dating back to 2018 in France.

“It’s been a tough week,’’ he said.

McIlroy, years ago, was quoted saying the Ryder Cup didn’t mean a lot to him.

“Yeah, I’ve said naïve and stupid things in the past but this is by far the biggest tournament that we have in golf,’’ Mcllroy said. “You look at the crowds, you look at what it means, it’s the best. I can’t wait to be a part of many, many more Ryder Cups and be teammates with some of these great guys and try to win many more.’’


This was particularly special week for U.S. captain Steve Stricker, a Wisconsin native who’s so emotional he’s cried after every one of his PGA Tour (12) and Champions Tour (7) victories — none of which included a major.

“I never won a major,’’ Stricker said through tears, “but this is my major right here.’’


Dustin Johnson had a remarkable week, becoming the first U.S. player to produce five points since Larry Nelson did it in 1979. He finished off his 5-0-0 record Sunday with a singles win over Paul Casey in a match he never trailed. Johnson was 1-3 in the 2018 Ryder Cup.

Ryder Cup
Captain Steve Stricker celebrates the U.S. winning the Ryder Cup.
Reuters

“I did not expect 5-0-0, that’s for sure,’’ Johnson said. “Starting the week, if you had told me I was going to go 5-0-0, I probably would have said you were crazy. I didn’t think I was going to play five matches.’’


Europeans Matt Fitzpatrick, Bernd Weisberger and Casey all failed to win a point. For the U.S. four of the top five ranked players in the world — Johnson, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele — combined for a 14-1-2 record.


The next step for the Americans is winning a Ryder Cup on the road, which they haven’t done since 1993. Europe, which has an 11-9-1 advantage since the Ryder Cup was expanded in 1979 to include the continent, hosts the matches in 2023 in Italy.

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