Europe captain Luke Donald and their star Rory McIlroy have responded to Europe's Ryder Cup victory, after their team capitalized on their dominant opening day in Rome to record a solid win. The event wasn't without its share of controversy, but on the course the Europeans were clinical, ultimately running out 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 winners to avenge their disastrous 19-9 loss two years ago and make it seven consecutive Ryder Cup victories on European soil.
Judging from their reactions in the wake of the victory, it's clear just how much the tournament meant to both Donald and McIlroy.
“This is the best,” said Donald, who was captaining the team for the first time after Henrik Svenson joined the LIV Golf League. “This is why the Ryder Cup is so special to me and to these guys, because of these moments. We play for each other and we get to share in that success together, and we get to spend this week together and we'll share those memories forever.”
McIlroy referenced the loss 2021 loss at Whistling Straits, saying, “It means an awful lot. I was so disappointed after Whistling Straits. We all were. And we wanted to come here to Rome this year and redeem ourselves a bit.”
Redeem themselves they certainly did, with McIlroy in particular demonstrating why he has for so long been one of the best golfers on the planet. He was 4-1 in his five matchups, and his four points was the most in the contest.
Next on the agenda for the Europeans is getting a win abroad. They've had no problems getting the job done at home, but defeating the USA in the USA has proven substantially more difficult. According to McIlroy, winning the Ryder Cup away is “one of the biggest accomplishments in golf right now,” and that's exactly what they'll be looking to do at Bethpage Black in two years' time.