Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm lead Europe to Ryder Cup title over Team USA

The Europeans did it with ease.

They have captured the Ryder Cup on home soil for the seventh straight time.

The Americans were in trouble right out of the gate, when Viktor Hovland chipped in for birdie on the first green in the second match of the competition.

Europe raced out to a 6.5-to-1.5 after day one, historically embarrassing the Americans.

Saturday saw much more of the same, with Europe dominating the morning session to squash any American hopes. Europe then held a five-point lead going into Sunday, a deficit that proved too large to overcome.

Rory McIlroy led the way with a 4-0-1 record, defeating Sam Burns in singles on Sunday to aid the winning effort. It was the first time the four-time major winner won four points for Europe in his Ryder Cup history.

“Quiet confidence is what [Captain Luke Donald] has been saying this week,” McIlroy said after his round. “Doesn’t have to say many words. The words that he does say are very, very impactful, and he’s been amazing this week.”

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Jon Rahm also played a vital role in winning back the Cup for Team Europe.

The Spaniard posted a 2-0-2 record, which included a key halve on Friday evening thanks to a lengthy eagle putt he made.

He had an all-important halve on Sunday too, winning the 18th to tie Scottie Scheffler, thus securing another half-point for Europe.

“I told myself I wasn’t going to look,” Rahm said after his round.

“It’s hard not to see the scoreboards, right? I’m sitting looking at my putt, and the scoreboards are right in my way. So it’s hard not to catch yourself lingering. But I think I did a really good job at the end. Seeing those scores, refocused on the task at hand. Played good at the end. Too bad it wasn’t good enough to win, but I’ll take a halve.”

Rahm’s tie was crucial since he and Scheffler were the first match of the day. It thwarted any little momentum the U.S. had.

But the winning moment came on the 16th green, a drivable par-4 in which the Europeans dominated all week.

Tommy Fleetwood drove the green, while his competitor Rickie Fowler hit in the water. That secured the victory for Europe, as the European fans soared into jubilation.

Now its time for the European team to celebrate in Rome, as they have won the Ryder Cup for the first time in five years.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.