The United States team at the 44th Ryder Cup found themselves in a tough spot after two days of competition, trailing Europe 10½-5½. However, they managed to gain some momentum on the third day, thanks to a standout performance by Patrick Cantlay and a disputed report from the British media.
Cantlay, the fifth-ranked player in the world, secured a crucial victory for the American team in the final match of the day. He made an impressive 43-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to defeat Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick 1 up. Cantlay and his partner Wyndham Clark were 1 down with three holes to play, but Cantlay’s clutch putts on the 16th and 17th holes turned the match around.
Prior to Cantlay’s heroics, a British media report had suggested that the U.S. team was divided and that Cantlay was leading a protest over players not being paid for participating in the Ryder Cup. According to the report, Cantlay refused to wear the team-issued hat as a form of protest. This news spread quickly on social media, and European fans began waving their hats at Cantlay in response.
Despite the controversy, Cantlay denied the report and emphasized that the Ryder Cup was about representing Team USA and his country, rather than financial matters. He explained that he didn’t wear a hat during the tournament because it didn’t fit properly, a reason he had previously cited during the 2021 Ryder Cup as well.
While the U.S. team still faced a significant deficit heading into the final day, Cantlay’s victory and the American team’s overall performance in the afternoon session provided a glimmer of hope. They won three out of four four-ball matches, narrowing Europe’s lead but still needing a remarkable comeback to retain the Ryder Cup.
The Americans have come close to achieving such a comeback in the past. In 1997, they narrowly lost the Ryder Cup after trailing by the same score but winning eight of twelve points in the singles matches. The largest final-day comeback in Ryder Cup history is four points, which shows that the task ahead of the U.S. team is incredibly challenging.
However, the American players remain optimistic and believe in their ability to turn the tide. Max Homa expressed his confidence in every member of the team and their ability to contribute points. The players are determined to give their all in the singles matches and attempt to defy the odds.
The third day of the 44th Ryder Cup provided much-needed momentum for the American team, thanks to Patrick Cantlay’s impressive performance and the team’s strong showing in the afternoon session. While they still faced an uphill battle, the players remained united and determined to give their best in the final day of competition. Only time will tell if they can pull off a miraculous comeback and retain the Ryder Cup.