While Europe have been the dominant force in the Ryder Cup since the turn of the century, we perhaps should not be all that surprised by the way the event played out at Whistling Straits in recent days.
After all, the American team was as formidable an outfit as you are ever likely to come up against. They possessed nine of the world top 11 ranked players, with Jon Rahm the only European in that group. By the end, it was the largest winning margin in the event since 1975.
The worrying thing on this side of the Atlantic is that the vast majority of those American talents are at an age where they are likely to feature prominently in this event for years to come.
While Europe have managed to overturn such talent deficits in the past, it will become increasingly difficult to do so as the Americans ramp up their ever more impressive production line. A change in approach may be needed if Europe are to remain competitive.
Paul McGinley has a few suggestions on how this could be achieved. The Irishman captained Europe to victory in 2014 and knows what it takes to achieve success in this event.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, he lined out three steps that need to be taken in order to compete with the Americans in the long-term:
- Become better at identifying young talents
- Change the qualifying structure and allow Europe's captain to have more captain's picks
- Bring back the Seve Cup or another similar event
The specific of the first suggestion may be difficult to nail down, but the latter two seem relatively straightforward.
Having more captain's picks would allow whoever is in charge of the team to pick players who are better suited to the event, while playing a team event in Ryder Cup's off years would also get players more familiar with the format and allow partnerships to be formed.
Here is what McGinley had to say:
We've got to step up our quality.
You win Ryder Cups with players - as good as the captain is behind the scenes you are only as good as the players and the quality of golf that they play. Yes you give them the platform but they've got to produce.
So we have work to do in finding and pushing our young guys forward, that's the first thing.
I think our qualification system - Steve Stricker had six picks, Padraig didn't change from three - and maybe in hindsight it might have been better to have a few more, that might have helped a bit.
Steve Stricker also mentioned a lot about being able to have the Presidents Cup as a trial for partnerships. We know that Xander-Cantlay partnership, for example, formulated there, the friendship formulated there and it was an easy fit then.
We've lost the Seve Trophy, we've lost the EurAsia Cup in the last four years, we don't have that any more. Maybe we need to recreate that.
There are some systemic changes behind the scenes that we will need to look at: the qualification, bringing our young players forward and also then have some kind of a sounding board in the off years like they have in the Presidents Cup.
So they would be the three things that immediately come to mind.
This all makes sense, although the gap with the Americans could widen further before we see the real impact of any such moves.