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Rory McIlroy, Team Europe Defeat Brooks Koepka, Team USA to Win 2023 Ryder Cup

Tyler Conway

In 2021, Team USA blew Team Europe out of the water in one of the largest victories in Ryder Cup history.

Two years later, Europe has its revenge.

Rickie Fowler conceded the 16th hole to Tommy Fleetwood during Sunday's head-to-head matches, clinching at least a tie in their match and giving Team Europe a guaranteed 14.5 points and the 2023 Ryder Cup championship.

The win narrows The USA's all-time lead to 27-15-2. There has not been a repeat winner of a Ryder Cup since Europe won three straight from 2010 to 2014. However, Europe has won its last seven on European soil.

Europe began the day strong, with Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm tying and Viktor Hovland dominating Collin Morikawa 4&3. When Rory McIlroy picked up a 3&1 victory over Sam Burns and Tyrrell Hatton followed up with a 3&2 triumph over Brian Harman, it looked as if Europe would breeze to an easy win.

The Americans had other ideas.

Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele kickstarted the comeback with 3&2 victories over Ludvig Aberg and Shane Lowry, respectively. With Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth ahead on scorecards and Fowler and Wyndham Clark narrowly trailing, the impossible suddenly looked possible.

Instead, Fowler dropped the critical 16th hole to Fleetwood and handed Europe the Ryder Cup.

The triumph was gleeful for the European side, which came in motivated after a 19-9 trouncing two years ago. The Americans also added fuel to Europe's competitive drive when they engaged in a fake hat-tip taunting during a contentious round Saturday.

McIlroy and Joe LaCava had a back-and-forth after the American caddie celebrated in McIlroy's sight line. McIlroy, who was incensed by LaCava's actions Saturday, said he used the situation as motivation.

"I was focused. I was very focused," McIlroy told reporters Sunday. "I let it fuel me. I didn't let it take away from what's been a fantastic week. I used that little incident last night to my advantage."

The United States, by contrast, battled speculation about whether they got along behind the scenes. Patrick Cantlay attempted to squash the speculation after the round.

"It couldn't be further from the truth," Cantlay said. "There hasn't been one word of that all week. The U.S. team has been close all week."

The Ryder Cup will make its way back stateside in 2025. The hallowed Bethpage Black on Long Island is set to host for the first time.

The United States' next chance at ending its European losing streak will come in 2027 when the two sides head to Adare Manor in Ireland.


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