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Zach Johnson: USA 'going to learn' from Ryder Cup loss to Europe

Team USA's Patrick Cantlay was the green on No. 6 at the 2023 Ryder Cup on Sunday at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
Team USA's Patrick Cantlay was the green on No. 6 at the 2023 Ryder Cup on Sunday at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI

Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Captain Zach Johnson said the American team is "going to learn" from its loss to Europe at the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Johnson commented on the defeat after the Europeans beat the Americans 16.5 to 11.5 in the biennial tournament, held from Friday through Sunday in Rome.

"I gotta figure it out," Johnson said Sunday at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club. "There is some time here where I will reflect and figure out what we can do better going forward.

"We are going to learn from this. That's what Team USA does. We will reflect, diagnose and try to figure out how we can do better and be more efficient."

The win extended a run of seven-consecutive Ryder Cup titles on home soil for the Europeans. The Americans won two of the last three editions of the tournament, claiming those triumphs in the United States.

Team Europe's Viktor Hovland hits a drive on No. 13 at the 2023 Ryder Cup on Sunday in Rome. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
Team Europe's Viktor Hovland hits a drive on No. 13 at the 2023 Ryder Cup on Sunday in Rome. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI

"The formula this week was that they got off to a great start and that momentum led them to a nice lead going into Sunday," Johnson said of the Europeans.

"Our boys fought like madmen. They made it interesting and made them earn it."

Team USA's Collin Morikawa lines up a putt on No. 14 at the 2023 Ryder Cup on Sunday in Rome. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
Team USA's Collin Morikawa lines up a putt on No. 14 at the 2023 Ryder Cup on Sunday in Rome. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI

Rory McIlroy, the No. 2 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, claimed a tournament-high four points in the three-day event. No. 4 Viktor Hovland and No. 11 Tyrrell Hatton claimed 3.5 points apiece. No. 3 Jon Rahm and No. 13 Tommy Fleetwood logged three points each.

No. 7 Max Homa was the top American scorer, with three points. No. 5 Patrick Cantlay and No. 9 Brian Harman logged two points apiece. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler logged just one point.

Team USA captain Zach Johnson watches his team on the green on No. 16 at the 2023 Ryder Cup on Sunday in Rome. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
Team USA captain Zach Johnson watches his team on the green on No. 16 at the 2023 Ryder Cup on Sunday in Rome. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI

"I'm just so proud to be a part of this team," McIlroy said. "It's very, very meaningful."

The Europeans raced to a 4-0 lead in morning foursomes in Friday's first round. They then rallied in three four-ball matches to push their lead to 6.5-1.5 on Day 1.

Rahm and Hatton beat Scheffler and No. 20 Sam Burns 4 and 3 in the first foursomes match. Hovland and No. 79 Ludvig Aberg then beat Homa and Harman by the same score for a 2-0 European lead.

No. 22 Sepp Straka and No. 34 Shane Lowry edged No. 25 Rickie Fowler and No. 19 Collin Morikawa 2 and 1 in the third foursomes match. McIlroy and Fleetwood secured the final foursomes point with a 2 and 1 victory over Cantlay and No. 6 Xander Schauffele.

No. 24 Justin Thomas and No. 12 Jordan Spieth tied Hovland and Hatton in the first four-ball match. No. 17 Brooks Koepka and Scheffler also tied their four-ball match against Rahm and No. 82 Nicolai Hojgaard, giving another half-point to both sides.

McIlroy and No. 8 Matt Fitzpatrick then beat Schauffele and Morikawa in the final four-ball match of Day 1.

The Europeans pushed their lead to 10.5 to 5.5 on Day 2. They started the day with a 3-1 edge in foursomes. The Americans rallied with a 3-1 triumph in four-ball, keeping the margin at five.

Europe entered Sunday just four points shy of a victory, but the Americans attempted another rally on Day 3. The Europeans snatched another 1.5 points through Sunday's first two matches. The Americans answered by winning five points over the next seven matches.

Fleetwood went on to clinch the title on hole No. 16 in his match against Fowler.

"I was probably more relieved than anything," Fleetwood said. "I felt very comfortable all day. Even though it was tight, I was always really in control of the match. The occasion was very, very big."

The PGA Tour season will continue with the 2023 Sanderson Farms Championship. That event will be held from Oct. 5 to 8 in Jackson, Miss.