Singles win not enough for tearful McIlroy

It was clear early on that the scenes of jubilation in Paris three years ago when the European team trounced the US were not going to repeat themselves at Whistling Straits this week.

And while it’s always a team effort, Rory McIlroy knows that as a now six-time Ryder Cup veteran, a lot was expected of him.

The 32-year-old had played on four winning European teams and racked up 13 Ryder Cup points in prior appearances including three points each year from 2012 to 2016.

Winless entering the final day and benched on Saturday morning, McIlroy left the best until last with a 3&2 win over Xander Schauffele in the first match of the Sunday Singles, one of only three won by the Europeans that day.

However, it wasn’t enough, with the Europeans going down 19-9 to the US. And in an emotional post-match interview, three days of frustration poured out of the Irishman.

“I think I’m emotional, as well because I wanted to do this for Padraig, too. It’s his captaincy, and he’s had a hell of a career, and It would have been an unbelievable thing to cap off with a winning Ryder Cup,” said McIlroy as he fought back tears.

“I’m incredibly proud to be a part of this team, to be a teammates of all these guys, the captain, the vice captains. We’ve had a great time.”

“It looks like it’s not going to pan out the way we want on the golf course. I’ve been extremely disappointed that I haven’t contributed more for the team. I’m glad I got a point on the board today for them.”

McIlroy can hold his head high. He’s done enough in the past to make sure of that. The likes of Paul Casey, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Bernd Wiesberger may have more to worry about though.