Clarke: ‘The better team won’

Europe captain Darren Clarke was magnanimous in defeat on Sunday, admitting the ‘better team won’ after his team had been trounced by the US, who reclaimed the Ryder Cup after an eight-year wait.

Speaking after the 17-11 defeat at Hazeltine, Clarke said “ We’re all bitterly disappointed.”

“We knew we had a lot to do, but the guys fought hard – there was a lot of blue early.

“But the American guys showed their class again. The better team won.”

Asked whether he would have done anything different, Clarke said it would have made no difference, and credited the US team with a gutsy display.

“After about an hour and a half there was a lot of blue on the board and that was what we needed to see, but the American guys fought hard and played very, very well,” he told the BBC.

“I wouldn’t have changed anything. I have spoken about this already to my vice-captains and we were confident. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. but even with that we wouldn’t have made any changes.

“A putt missed here or a putt holed outside your opponent, that makes all the difference. Unfortunately for us we didn’t quite hole them and the Americans did. I couldn’t have asked for one ounce more. Davis’ team gave everything and that’s the passion of the Ryder Cup.

“We will be fighting hard for it again in Paris in two years’ time.”