Brooks Koepka remained undefeated in his Ryder Cup singles matches, beating Ludvig Aberg 3&2 on Sunday at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome.
Koepka delivered a point for his United States team, which was hoping to complete a historic rally against Europe, but the Americans ultimately fell short, losing 16.5 to 11.5 to a European team that has now won 10 of the last 14 Ryder Cups.
“There’s got to be a winner and there’s got to be a loser. So it happens,” Koepka said after his match but before the Europeans had officially clinched. “All you can do is just give it your all and see where it takes you.”
Koepka never trailed in his match against Aberg, the rising star from Sweden who just turned pro in June. The Smash GC captain won the opening hole with a birdie putt from 6 feet, 4 inches. He then went 3-up by winning the sixth and eighth holes with pars.
Aberg eagled the par-5 ninth, but Koepka responded with a birdie at the par-4 11th from just inside 14 feet. Aberg won the par-5 12th with a birdie, but Koepka regained his 3-up lead with a birdie at the par-3 13th from 11 feet, 4 inches. The two players then matched pars on the final three holes.
Koepka's win was one of five match wins for the U.S. on Sunday and matched the largest winning margin for an American on the day.
The singles victory was also a nice bounce-back result for Koepka, who suffered a 9&7 loss with partner Scottie Scheffler against Aberg and Viktor Hovland in Saturday’s foursomes.
Koepka is now 3-0-1 in Ryder Cup singles in his four appearances, with his overall Ryder Cup record at 7-6-2. He went 1-1-1 in Rome, the best performance of the six American captain's picks.
“I played really good. Pleased with the way I played,” Koepka said about Sunday’s match. “I would have liked to have made a few more putts, but Ludvig is a good player. Watched him yesterday and today. He's solid. He's going to be around for a long time.”
Koepka and the Americans suffered their seventh consecutive defeat in Europe. They started the day five points behind but made things interesting before Europe’s Tommy Fleetwood clinched the victory in the 11th of the 12 matches on Sunday.
Ultimately, Koepka said, it was Friday that proved to be the decisive day. After winning all four foursomes matches in the morning, the Europeans remained undefeated for the day with one win and three halves in afternoon fourballs to take a five-point lead.
Two of those halves were decided by Europe winning the 18th hole, including the Koepka-Scheffler match against Jon Rahm and Nicolai Hojgaard. Rahm made eagle on the 18th to deny the Americans, who birdied their last five holes of the match.
“It's been impressive,” Koepka said of the Europeans' performance. “They made the putts when they needed to. I think even Friday afternoon – I think 18 was a big, big swing point just for the tournament.”
After a one-week break, Koepka will return to action at LIV Golf Jeddah on Oct. 13-15. Koepka is No. 5 in individual points and will seek to move into the bonus-paying No. 3 position in the regular-season finale at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.
Photo Credit: MATHIAS BERGELD/Bildbyran/Sipa USA (Sipa via AP Images)