So what will it take for U.S. golfers to finally win back the Ryder Cup? Some local golf pros have a few suggestions.
Joe Carr, head pro and one of the owners of Bedrock GC in Rutland, points to the alternate-shot competition as the weakest link for the U.S., in part because the Americans don't play much of it outside of the Ryder Cup. So Carr thinks the U.S. captain should stage an alternate-shot event for his players a week before the Ryder Cup.
"The strategy is to get at least one good driver on each team,'' Carr said. "When he had (Keegan) Bradley and (Phil) Mickelson together, they couldn't hit a bull in the (butt) with a fiddle.''
Matt Moison, head pro at Green Hill Municipal GC, believes the U.S. needs to include more young, eager players.
"Winning or losing on that level is probably more about attitude than anything else,'' Moison said. "When you look at the Ryder Cup and who played this year and who was enthusiastic, it was all the young guys.''
Ryder Cup rookie Patrick Reed missed a 2-foot putt on Saturday that cost the U.S. half a point, but he finished a team-best 3-0-1.
Moison couldn't believe that Mickelson criticized U.S. captain Tom Watson, who was sitting a few seats away, during the post-tournament news conference. Mickelson was clearly upset that Watson had benched him and Bradley for both of the Saturday sessions, and he blamed the 161/2-111/2 loss to Europe last weekend on straying from the winning formula of 2008 in which captain Paul Azinger sought out input from players.
"To me, that's the story of the Ryder Cup,'' Moison said. "You should never say anything when you're angry or upset. It could come back to haunt you. He probably regrets he made those comments.''
The recent numbers are ugly for the U.S. Europe has won eight of the last 10 Ryder Cup competitions, and the Americans haven't won in Europe since 1993, when 2014 Ryder Cup rookie Jordan Spieth was only 2 months old.
The U.S. played without Dustin Johnson, who has stopped playing to deal with a personal issue, and Tiger Woods and Jason Dufner, who are injured, but the Americans have lost Ryder Cups with them as well.
Heritage CC owner Bill Plante thought the Americans might play better without Woods because he's not known as much of a team player, but that didn't turn out to be true.
"I just don't think we had the horses to compete against those guys this year,'' said Allan Belden, head pro at Worcester CC, site of the first Ryder Cup in 1927.