Golf-Our camaraderie was strong, say beaten Americans

Golf - The 2023 Ryder Cup - Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Rome, Italy - October 1, 2023 Team USA's Brooks Koepka tees off on the 1st hole during the Singles REUTERS/Carl Recine

ROME (Reuters) - Each time the United States fail to win the Ryder Cup in Europe, which is every time they have tried in the last 30 years, their team spirit is usually compared unfavourably with their rivals, but such notions were dismissed by their players on Sunday.

A media report on Saturday suggested a split in the camp and pre-event talk of LIV golfer Brooks Koepka ploughing a lone furrow added more fuel to the fire.

However, they showed admirable fight and no little spirit in Sunday's singles before slipping to a 16-1/2-11-1/2 defeat.

"I said it before the event, I thought this was the closest team that I think I've been on," Koepka told a press conference.

"We've got a great group of guys. We fought hard as a team and I wouldn't want to do it with another group."

Twice major champion Justin Thomas agreed.

"We truly all got along, we clicked. We had a lot of fun hanging out with each other," he said.

"Everybody just is happy to be around each other. There's usually a couple misfits or people that just aren't a part of the team, but we all were one.

"The loss has absolutely nothing to do with team camaraderie because this is probably the closest team I've ever been a part of."

Captain Zach Johnson admitted he had made some poor decisions but said his team gave their all.

"My overwhelming feeling is pride - pride in these guys," he said. "We got outplayed but we showed grit and heart. It got interesting out there. It ebbed and flowed, it had momentum. I'm proud of my guys."

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ed Osmond)

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