by Jeff Skinner
It’s an old but valid axiom, “players play and coaches coach.” The Europeans players certainly played this week at Gleneagles.
They continued their mastery of the team game to claim their third straight Ryder Cup win.
Justin Rose 4.0 points A++ : Rose was the stud of the week as he outplayed everyone on both teams. His putter was hotter than everyone this week and except for a brief spell in Saturday Foursomes he made every putt he looked at.
Graeme McDowell 3.0 points A: GMac went undefeated in his three sessions and he served as an effective mentor for Victor Dubuisson. And true to his bulldog nature he fought back from an early 3 down deficit in singles to beat Jordan Spieth in a critical opening match on Sunday.
Jamie Donaldson 3.0 points A- : Three points from Donaldson had to be a pleasant surprise for McGinley. His only loss was in Saturday’s Fourball and he had the honor of earning the clinching point on Sunday.
Henrik Stenson 3.0 points B+: Stenson played well all week and the Rose Stenson team won all three of their matches. His Sunday loss to an animated Patrick Reed was his only blemish.
Rory McIlroy 3.0 points B: The world number one played like it, especially in Singles when he sent Rickie Fowler to the sidelines early with a huge 5 & 4 win to earn the first point on Sunday. His lone loss was with Sergio Garcia in Friday Fourballs.
Victor Dubuisson 3.0 points B: He came in as an “unknown” and left a star. GMac called him “swashbuckling” as he mentored him around the course. They teamed for two huge wins and his only slip up was a meaningless half on Sunday when the Cup was already decided.
Sergio Garcia 2.5 points B-: He teamed with McIlroy on day one in what looked like a Dream Team but fell to Mickelson and Bradley. But that was his only loss and he had a solid come from behind win on Sunday.
Lee Westwood 2.0 points B: The passionate Ryder Cupper served as one of McGinley’s playing coaches. He was critical in keeping the team relaxed and motivated and despite his two losses was very valuable to the team.
Martin Kaymer 2.0 points B: His lone win came against a sloppy Bubba Watson in Sunday Singles but two halves against the toughest of American teams earned him plenty of credit.
Ian Poulter 1.0 points D: Poulter tarnished his Ryder Cup legend with a surprisingly lackluster week. A loss and a half in Fourballs and a half in Singles against an equally weak Webb Simpson completed a painful week for this former Ryder Cup hero.
Thomas Bjorn 0.5 points D: It was a tough week for the future Ryder Cup Captain who earned his only half point way back in the opening session on Friday and had his clock cleaned by Matt Kuchar on Sunday with a 4 & 3 loss.
Stephen Gallacher 0.0 points F: It was a tough week on the course for the hometown Scot who was the only Euro not to earn any points.
Paul McGinley A: When your team gets to Saturday night with a 10-6 lead you have done your job extremely well. McGinley spent the past two years in the shadow of his idol and opposing captain Tom Watson. He’ll spend the rest of his life as a winning Ryder Cup Captain. To a player they said his leadership and preparation made their win possible.