The USA convincingly reclaimed custody of the Ryder Cup on Sunday, securing a 17-11 victory over Europe at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. As 24 of the world’s best golfers turned their attention to match play for the three-day competition, five members of the American squad successfully drew on their USGA amateur championship experience to play a crucial role in the team’s victory.
Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Ryan Moore, Brandt Snedeker and Jordan Spieth all earned national championships by making their way through a match-play bracket. Though their USGA victories were years or, in some cases, decades earlier, their match-play savvy was on full display throughout the week, with the quintet combining to score 11 points for the USA on the strength of a 10-6-2 overall record.
Snedeker, the 2003 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, was a perfect 3-0 at Hazeltine, teaming up with Brooks Koepka to win one match each on Friday and Saturday before winning his singles match on Sunday, 3 and 1, over Andy Sullivan.
Snedeker’s U.S. Amateur Public Links victory was sandwiched by those of Moore’s, who won the title in 2002 and 2004. Moore, who also won the 2004 U.S. Amateur, scored the clinching point for the Americans on Sunday when he closed out Lee Westwood, 1 up, by rallying to win the last three holes in their match.