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American media reaction to Ryder Cup defeat

The United States press came out in support of Hunter Mahan after his defeat to Graeme McDowell ultimately decided the Ryder Cup.

Mahan requested the anchor position but was unable to step up under pressure on the par-three 17th when, lying two down and needing to win the hole to take the contest further, he duffed his pitch from in front of the green to hand the Northern Irishman the match and Europe the trophy.

He broke down in tears when facing the media afterwards, but the New York Times' Larry Dorman noted: "For the Americans, it was a chance to show that they can form team bonds that are as powerful as those often attributed to the Europeans, something they demonstrated when they refused to allow Hunter Mahan to be vilified for his loss to McDowell.

"So much for life and death, pointing fingers and laying blame. The entire American team made it quite clear it had no intention of letting Mahan bear the brunt of the defeat.

"When he broke down while answering a fairly innocuous question in the press centre, his team-mates, led by Phil Mickelson, leapt in.

"We came within a half a point," Mickelson said. "But we could look anywhere throughout those 28 points for that half a point. I look at the three matches that I played in, and had many opportunities to try to get that clinching point. We just fell a little bit shy."

And Fox Sports' Robert Lusetich added: "Mickelson was right. The blame for this heart-breaking loss lay with many.

"Mickelson and Dustin Johnson went pointless until the singles, when both won handsomely, but where was that form during the team matches?

"Rickie Fowler played magnificently on Monday to scratch half a point out of his singles match against Edoardo Molinari - but what about his brain-freeze when paired with Jim Furyk in foursomes?

"Fowler cluelessly played a ball out of his pocket instead of digging Furyk's tee-shot out of the mud and was forced to concede the hole in a match which was ultimately halved.

"And what of Stewart Cink three-putting for par on the driveable 15th then missing a short birdie putt on the next on Monday, letting Rory McIlroy steal an undeserved half for Europe? Or Jim Furyk, the FedEx Cup champion, getting the lowest point total of any American with only half a point from three matches?

"To say nothing of (captain Corey) Pavin sending out his bravehearts to play in effeminate shades of lavender and baby blue. Are they supposed to be warriors or interior decorators?"

Golf Magazine's senior writer Cameron Morfit drew some positives from the defeat, picking out Fowler and 'Jeff "Boom Baby" Overton'.

"Rickie Fowler, a 21-year-old rookie and US captain Corey Pavin's most heavily-debated captain's pick, set the stage for Mahan and McDowell by executing a stunning comeback to halve his match with Italian Edoardo Molinari," he wrote.

"After falling four down through 12 holes, Fowler birdied the last four holes, the last two with 20-footers that found the centre of the cup and set Celtic Manor on edge.

"Overton ended his first Cup the same way he started it, with a win. He was the most pleasant surprise for the American side and provided its most unforgettable highlight with his fierce "Boom, baby!" reaction to his 140-yard hole-out on Sunday."

In a discussion forum on the same magazine's website, golf.com, Sports Illustrated senior editor Jim Gorant pointed to Cink's missed four-foot putt on the 17th hole of his singles match with Rory McIlroy as the key moment, while site deputy editor David Dusek identified Cink's miss on the next hole.

Senior producer Ryan Reiterman noted "The Molinaris stole a big half-point from Kuchar and Cink in their four-ball match", while Morfit felt Furyk's wedge into a bunker on the 18th against Luke Donald yesterday was crucial - Donald won the match one up.

But the magazine's executive editor Charlie Hanger claimed: "I think the future is bright for the US. That was great experience for our rookies, who played very well. Get a healthy Anthony Kim back in the mix, and they could be a force."

And Gorant offered the following prediction for the 2014 clash in Chicago: "US wins 16-12. Write it down."