Zach Johnson makes stunning (!) admission after Team USA's Ryder Cup defeat

Zach Johnson made a stunning admission after Team USA were defeated 16.5 to 11.5 by Team Europe at the 2023 Ryder Cup in Italy.

Ben Smith's picture
Mon, 2 Oct 2023
Zach Johnson makes stunning (!) admission after Team USA's Ryder Cup defeat

There was a lot to unpack from Zach Johnson and Team USA's press conference after losing the Ryder Cup 16.5-11.5 to a European team led by an angry Rory McIlroy

A tearful Johnson took the majority of the blame in the immediate aftermath of defeat at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club. 

Though it was curious that Johnson, sat front and centre alongside his 12 golfers, didn't think there was anything he would change. 

At least, there wasn't anything he could immediately point to. 

"Right off the top of my head, I'm not sure I would change anything," he said. "It's still very raw." 

Time and reflection will obviously change that. 

Wyndham Clark suggested Europe's team were perhaps already leaking oil heading into the contest northeast of Rome. 

All 12 Europeans played the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Bob MacIntyre played in Paris a week after that. Luke Donald's side also went on a reconnaissance mission. 

McIlroy said they shared stories round a firepit. 

That's not to say that Team USA didn't prepare, because of course they did. They did a recce too, but the team had a five-week gap of not playing competitive golf. 

Is there a difference there? Or will home advantage will forever reign supreme?

"We had a great trip, whatever it was, two and a half weeks ago, both on the golf course and off," Johnson said. 

"There's no perfect formula to it," he added.  "The formula this week is they got off to a great start, and that momentum led them into a pretty nice lead." 

Can Jordan Spieth, who contributed one point, figure it out?

He said: "If you asked us when we would like to play the Ryder Cup relative to our schedule, I think we would probably say, give us a week after the Tour Championship or two weeks after and then go, instead of five." 

Talk of a split in Team USA dominated the news agenda from Saturday onwards. 

It was said to have been led by no hat Pat. 

Cantlay has dismissed his decision not to wear a team cap was a protest over Ryder Cup players not getting paid. 

Though it's clear Cantlay has some feelings over the issue, it was also transparent he had the full backing of his teammates. 

"I said it before the event, I thought this was the closest team that I think I've been on," said Brooks Koepka

Over time Team USA will perform a full biopsy on what went wrong. 

In the meantime, they will offer jokes to cover up the wounds. 

"Maybe it was Brooks," said Justin Thomas. "We don't see him very often anymore." 

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