World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler left in tears after historic Ryder Cup defeat
In a stunning turn of events at the Ryder Cup, World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler found himself overcome with emotion following a record-breaking loss on Saturday.
Scheffler and his partner Brooks Koepka were dealt a devastating blow by Scandinavian duo Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg, losing by an unprecedented margin of 9&7 (nine up with seven holes to play). This resounding victory marks the largest margin in the tournament’s 44-edition history for an 18-hole match, whether foursomes or otherwise.
The defeat further strengthened Europe’s dominant start at the Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome. With a commanding lead of 9.5 – 2.5 after the morning foursomes session, Captain Luke Donald’s team now only needs five more points out of the remaining sixteen available to secure victory and claim the trophy.
On paper, Scheffler and Koepka appeared to be formidable opponents as both major champions carried vast experience into their match against Hovland and Aberg – neither of whom have won a major title yet. In fact, Aberg is just a rookie who turned professional less than one hundred days ago.
However, Norwegian world No.4 Hovland and Swedish newcomer Aberg showcased their exceptional skills during their comprehensive win over Max Homa and Open championship winner Brian Harman on Friday morning. They continued their impressive performance against Scheffler and Koepka, winning nine out of eleven holes en route to their historic triumph.
The European pair elevated their game to another level by birdieing six consecutive holes at the end of their match – sealing this remarkable feat that surpasses previous records set by Americans Tom Kite over Howard Clark in 1989 and Fred Couples over Ian Woosnam in 1997, both with an 8&7 margin.
A tearful Scheffler, who played a significant role in Team USA’s resounding 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits this year, received comfort from his wife Meredith. However, he was notably left out by Captain Zach Johnson for the afternoon fourball session.
This defeat adds to the frustration experienced by Scheffler and Koepka following their missed opportunity on Friday afternoon. They were denied their first point when Jon Rahm delivered two eagles in the final three holes to secure a tie.
Tempers flared as Koepka subsequently criticized Rahm for what he perceived as childish behavior during the match.
While Scheffler grappled with disappointment, Hovland and Aberg reveled in their triumph. The duo’s remarkable performances have endeared them to fans gathered in Rome – earning them newfound popularity.
The dynamic pair will join forces once again against Sam Burns and Collin Morikawa in the fourballs competition, aiming to achieve another victory together.
“I don’t think we could have performed any better,” remarked Hovland confidently when speaking to reporters. “We share a common language and understanding which contributes greatly to our chemistry on the course. With Victor playing flawlessly alongside me, it becomes easy for us to feed off each other’s success.”
Aberg added: “It is truly surreal for me to play alongside such a phenomenal player like Viktor while competing against other world-class opponents. Today was an incredible experience that I can hardly believe is real – but I am thrilled about it and eagerly look forward to what lies ahead.”