Padraig Harrington struggles to get the words out as Ryder Cup ripped away
You could tell Harrington was in the pits here.
With three of his golfers still out on the course, and battling to avoid a record (new format) Ryder Cup defeat, NBC caught up with Padraig Harrington for a quick interview.
Team Europe's captain was clearly gutted, and still looked shell-shocked after the Sunday singles also went to the Americans.
Having been bossed in the foursomes and four-balls, Europe trailed 11-5 heading into the singles. Harrington sent out McIlroy, Lowry, Rahm and Garcia in an effort to turn the board blue, and exert some pressure, but the US were taking care of business. McIlroy was the only European to win any of the first seven singles matches.
It was always a tough chase and the winning moment arrived when Collin Morikawa shared a half point with Viktor Hovland to get over the line.
As he followed Matt Fitzpatrick's match with Daniel Berger, NBC caught up with the Dubliner. He commented:
"Of course we're disappointed, but the US played well. They out-played us. Strong team. They got their plan right, got some momentum going. They started well and just outplayed us.
"It's been good [in Wisconsin]. The fans played their part. It's tough when you're going away and you have no Europeans... there was obviously a lot of momentum for the Americans. The silence was a little bit off-putting for us, at the start, and maybe that put us off a bit. But we were very much welcomed by the Wisconsin people."
As the reporter thanked Harrington for his time, the European captain choked up and could only manage a brief "You're welcome". The pain of defeat was etched in his face.
Sky Sports caught up with Harrington, soon after, and he was more composed.
"It was always going to be a tall order," he reflected. "This is a strong US team."
💬 "They did everything I could ask of them...The reality is the U.S played better than us."
💬 "It's a small consolation. I'm very happy with all my decisions along the way."#TeamEurope captain Pádraig Harrington reflects on a tough #RyderCup campaign at Whistling Straits... pic.twitter.com/74mJpz6CBL
— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) September 26, 2021
As it all turned out, Daniel Berger beating Fitzpatrick on the 18th hole delivered Team USA a record-breaking final score of 19-9. This is the highest total since the format changed from 32 matches to 28.
It is the largest winning margin in the competition, for either America or Europe [previously Great Britain & Ireland], since 1975.
"We took away a lot of the fluff," US captain Steve Stricker told Sky Sports. "I don't come in with a big ego, everyone of those players has a better resume than I do, we just try to make sure they have a good time, put them in pairings they enjoy, get them to bed early, rest, they want to work out - it's a different era of golf, they came here for a mission and they did it.
"Padraig is a friend and tremendous competitor. I am always worried about their team. Yesterday afternoon was a big session for us, we had a good lead going in but if they had swept us its a tight match. Getting two points was big and then the guys stepped it up today."
Next up for both sides is a Ryder Cup in Italy, in 2023.
European gold fans will be hoping some young guns emerge and push for places by the time that event comes around.