Jim Furyk: "Their team out-played us. They deserved to win."


Jim Furyk insisted his team were not under-prepared but out-played by Thomas Bjorn's European team on their way to a 17.5-10.5 defeat, while also complimenting the course set-up and French fans.

What came to Paris as one of the strongest American teams in Ryder Cup history left convincingly beaten by a dominant European side that out-played them around the demanding course at Le Golf National. 

There was no doubt the U.S team were better on paper: 6 of the World's top 10 players, 9 major champions, more Ryder Cup experience and more wins in 2018. 

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What the European's had was course experience and players known for their accuracy like Open Champion Francesco Molinari, who became the stand-out player of the event with a 5-0-0 record. 

The U.S had started off quickly, winning the opening fourballs session 3-1, but they would have to wait until the following morning to gain another point as Europe completed their first foursomes whitewash in history on Friday afternoon. 

Expecting the American team to come out strong Europe held firm, claiming eight points in a row and winning the morning fourballs 3-1 to widen the gap to four points. An afternoon foursomes session of 2-2 set up a 10-6 lead for the hosts heading in to the singles contest, and from there would be no way back.

Despite an initial flurry of American points from Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson and Finau to reduce the point-gap to just one, the comeback was shortlived. Europe would eventually win the singles session 7.5 to 4.5, claiming the overall contest 17.5 - 10.5.

In his press conference, Captain Jim Furyk complimented Thomas Bjorn and the European players for their play during the week. 

"Hats off to what they accomplished this week," Furyk said. "Thomas did a great job as captain. Players on their team, class acts, and gritty. When we put some heat on them early this afternoon, they responded. And they played some great golf this week, and I take my cap off.

"Thomas was a better captain, and their team out-played us. And there's nothing else more you can say. They deserved to win. They played well.

"He put his guys in good position. He did a good job. I think -- I think when a team is successful, as they were and as well as they played, that shows to me they had great leadership. And I think when you put yourself in this position, you walk into this room, you've got to tip your cap and you've got to give them credit.

"I know everyone on this table wishes they had played better, and I wish I probably would have done some things differently, as well, but at the end of the day we did the best we could and we all worked hard.

"I look across the room and look at what they did, and you know, they played better and they did a better job. I'm the first to say it. My hat is off to Thomas and his group. They played great."

One of the criticisms of the American team were that they were simply underprepared for the golf course. Justin Thomas was the only player to come over and play in the French Open, and perhaps it was no coincidence he was the U.S.A's top point scorer.

The European Tour have been playing at Le Golf National for decades, and this particular home team had 233 career rounds of experience. The U.S team on the other hand had eight, but Furyk was quick to dismiss this idea, insisting they weren't under prepared, just out-played. 

"You know, we're going to get second-guessed and we're going to get questioned. I realise as a leader of this team and as a captain, the brunt of it is going to be on my plate and I accepted that when I took this role.

"I had a lot of folks that came for a practise round ten days after that French Open, as well. A lot of them are sitting up here. When we played practise round, it was pretty close to The French Open. Phil was here eight days after. Everyone else was here 12 to 14 days after. It helped.

"I mean, I guess I would say that would maybe take a little bit away from J.T. about how well he played this week. I think it was helpful being here at The French Open.

"But no, I offered the invite and I had more players show up for that practise round than I could have hoped for, and we were prepared. I feel like we played our practise rounds and we understood the golf course. We got out-played.

"You know, we came over here and played our practise rounds and prepped for this golf course, and I have -- I'm going to say it over and over and over again: I have every confidence in these 12 players that you could. I think we have a great team. I would take them right back into another Ryder Cup and play it all over again if I could. You can call me crazy, but I have every belief that these guys could get it done. I still do and I still would again."

The victory means that the American's still haven't won on European soil this century, having last won the Ryder Cup at The Belfry in 1993, and for Furyk, it's a bitter pill to swallow.

"You know, obviously there's a sour taste in our mouth to come over here now for 27 years and not be able to win on foreign soil," he said. "That's the goal. We want to be successful in this event. We want to grow and we want to get better, but we want to do it here in Europe. That will be the goal four years from now."

Asked if he would do anything different, he replied: "I think in the future, I'll work with The PGA of America and I'll work with basically our Ryder Cup committee and I think we'll keep improving. We'll keep growing.

"I think that that process started in 2014, and Davis did a great job in 2016 leading us. I tried to take that ball and keep it rolling, and we didn't have the success we wanted, but I felt like, we made some strides in areas this year, and I'll help our captain in 2020 and I'll help him get better, as well."