Bjorn lauds Europeans 'putting stamp on world scene'

Thomas Bjorn (AP)
Thomas Bjorn (AP)

Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines - Captain Thomas Bjorn heaped praise on his victorious European team after all 12 players contributed at least a point in their 17.5-10.5 win over the United States at Le Golf National.

The hosts led 10-6 heading into Sunday's singles in France, with Francesco Molinari completing a remarkable personal haul of five wins from five by defeating Phil Mickelson to clinch the trophy.

"The whole team has been part of this. And I think it's very easy to sum it up: some play five matches and some play two matches, but they all contribute," said Bjorn.

"All of these guys that are here, they are quality golfers. They are putting their stamp on the world scene, and there are a couple on this team that are right on the way to the top of the game over the next few years.

"They will be massive parts of these European teams in the future."

The US initially set the stage for a thrilling comeback by taking 3.5 points from the first four completed matches on Sunday, but Thorbjorn Olesen eased European nerves by routing Jordan Spieth 5 and 4.

It was just the Danish rookie's second match of the competition, having only featured once across the fourballs and foursomes over the first two days.

"The hardest thing about the captaincy I think this week was that there's so many guys playing well. I wanted to get everybody on the golf course, but you can't," said Bjorn.

"I've played in my Ryder Cups, and I don't care how many matches I play in as long as we win and I think that's what it's all about.

"I think we all feel that way now. We got it right this week. We worked as a team and we knew we were up against very strong opponents, but we went out on the golf course and believed in ourselves and what we stand for as a team.

"We never, ever looked towards their team about what they were about. We were about us as a team and what we do."

Olesen's win sparked a run of six straight wins for the home side, as Jon Rahm delivered a 2 and 1 victory over Tiger Woods for his first Ryder Cup point.

Ian Poulter held off world number one Dustin Johnson to leave Europe on the cusp of the trophy, with Molinari, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Alex Noren all winners as the hosts reeled off seven of the last eight matches.

"There was a little moment in the middle of it all where I was getting a little bit worried, but then everybody stood up and did their bit," said Bjorn.

"You know, I can't describe how I feel about these 12. They have been amazing from day one, and I'm just so proud of them."

Oddsmakers favoured the US heading into the competition, and Europe's victory left Bjorn regretting a wager he made earlier in the week with his players.

"Let me put it this way, it's going to go on a part that only (wife) Grace will see," Bjorn replied after Rory McIlroy suggested a trip to the tattoo parlour was in the offing for the skipper.

"I might have to send them a picture, well, then you'll all see it as well, I guess. The worst decision I made all week."

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