USA behaviour after Ryder Cup defeat baffles Europe’s Luke Donald

Team Europe celebrates after regaining the Ryder Cup on Sunday
Team Europe celebrates after regaining the Ryder Cup on Sunday

Luke Donald remarked that he could only guess what tensions might have affected the United States Ryder Cup team - because he has never experienced losing in five attempts.

Donald, one of Thomas Bjorn’s five vice-captains, got a good feeling about Europe’s chances after noting the camaraderie in the ranks throughout the build-up last week.

That contrasts with the fall-out from the United States’ 17.5-10.5 defeat in Paris. Patrick Reed has been critical of team-mate Jordan Spieth while there have been reports of a fall-out between Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.

Donald, who will return from five months out with a back injury at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship this week, said: “I’ve read various things but I wasn’t in that team room so it’s hard for me to comment.

“All I can say is the atmosphere and the demeanour of our guys was amazing. They were really excited to compete and to be playing as a team. All the egos were left at the doorstep when we walked in on Monday.

“I wouldn’t know how to comment on the US team. I have been fortunate to be involved in five Ryder Cups and never be on the losing side.

“I don’t know how it feels, I can only assume it’s not a nice feeling and sometimes tensions rise when you don’t get the result you wanted.”

Donald sensed his team was in good shape from the start and never lost faith after the Americans went 3-1 ahead.

“I felt a good connection with all the players, they seemed up for the challenge,” he said.

“The camaraderie, the fun that they had during the week, the guys felt pretty loose all week and their games seemed solid during practice, so we were excited. The style of the course suited a lot of our guys.

“You get a sense early on how the group is and whether everyone is getting on.

“Certainly there were no issues, there was lots of laughing and jokes and a good atmosphere in the team room,” he added.