Tears turn to cheers for Scheffler as he rebounds from humiliation

Tears turn to cheers for Scottie Scheffler as world No 1 bravely rebounds from Ryder Cup humiliation in epic duel with Jon Rahm 

  • Scottie Scheffler’s epic duel with Jon Rahm ended with a tie on the 18th
  • World no 1 had been reduced to tears after suffering a humiliating 9&7 defeat
  • Europe won the Ryder Cup with dominant 16½-11½ win victory over USA

Reduced to tears on Saturday and ridiculed as he arrived on Sunday on the first tee, Scottie Scheffler may not have been feeling much like the world No 1.

‘We saw you cry on the telly,’ sang Europe’s fans, before his opponent Jon Rahm promptly birdied the opening hole to compound the hangover from the previous day — that record 9&7 foursomes defeat alongside Brooks Koepka.

What transpired, however, became one of the great Ryder Cup duels, as the lead either disappeared or changed hands seven times and ended with a tie on the 18th. This was where the momentum swung once and for all in favour of the Europeans, with Scheffler’s brave rebound from the humiliation of 24 hours ago dissipating at the death.

Had he clung to his one-hole lead, it could have been the precursor to some Medinah-type comeback.

The USA were up in five of the following seven games and the projections were starting to look promising.

Scottie Scheffler’s epic duel with Jon Rahm ended with a tie on the 18th on Sunday

Scheffler was reduced to tears after suffering a humiliating 9&7 defeat on Saturday

The sturdy figure of Rahm proved too much in this first singles meeting between Masters champions of the previous two years. It hardly seemed fitting, given their magnificent battle, that the American ended up becoming the first world No 1 to go winless at the Ryder Cup.

Rahm had warm words for him at the end of a pulsating encounter rich with superb shotmaking, and he respected the show of emotion on Saturday, when Scheffler was pictured weeping in the arms of his wife.

‘We had a great match and I told Scottie at the end that we all get emotional,’ said Rahm.

‘I can tell you in the first two days here Luke (Donald) was showing us videos and I couldn’t stop crying in any one of them. We’ve had some of the best players in the world crying — you had Rory last year, Scottie here, I did it off camera. It shows how much it means to us.’

The American had strained everything to give his team a glimmer of hope, and gone one up with three to play after draining a 21-footer on the 15th.

‘We needed to rally around something after getting our butts kicked,’ he reflected.

The dramatic tie came when his third on 18, a chip from the rough, sailed over the green and flirted with the water.

He came close from there, but Rahm cold-bloodedly put his 90-foot putt within tapping distance and the hugely significant half point was scored.

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