IT was always going to be a titanic task. As the final session of the 43rd Ryder Cup got underway at Whistling Straits, an embattled Team Europe faced the kind of fearsome reeling in job that Chief Brodie and his motley maritime crew embarked on when they tried to hook Jaws.

Two days of American dominance had left the rampant hosts 11-5 ahead. Simply looking at the scoreboard left you physically and mentally exhausted. The scale of the salvage operation facing Padraig Harrington’s men was akin to raising the Mary Rose with a couple of cheap fishing rods.

A miracle, divine intervention, cosmic alignment, Armageddon? You name it, Europe required it. In the end, Team USA simply demonstrated the sheer quality in its ranks as the hosts completed the job with great aplomb.

The 19-9 scoreline was the biggest margin of victory in the contest since the combined European team entered the fray in 1979. A very special group of US individuals had produced a very special team triumph and a young side loaded with the best players in the world played like it.

Having surged into a commanding advantage, the USA, jam-packed with formidable talent and cocky swagger, required just three-and-half points from the final 12 singles to regain that cherished gold chalice.

Many of us feared the whole thing would be done and dusted by the time the first evaluation of an ornate, hinged trinket box had been made in a Sunday night episode of the Antiques Roadshow on the BBC.

Leading this mission impossible was the out of sorts Rory McIlroy, who had lost all three of his matches in foursomes and fourballs, hadn’t gone beyond the 15th hole in any of them and was rested for a session on Saturday. “Clearly Rory is a champion so let him go and lead,” said Harrington as he entrusted the four-time major winner with spearheading a desperate charge that would’ve had the Light Brigade muttering with scepticism.

In a lost cause, there was nothing really to lose. McIlroy won the first hole as his opponent, the unbeaten Xander Schauffele, uncharacteristically missed a short one. The comeback was on, we all optimistically hollered.

McIlroy would do his bit but it was all too little too late. His 3&2 win restored some personal pride but the collective European pride was taking a severe dunt. McIlroy’s tearful summing up of his week in the immediate aftermath of his hollow victory underlined the general mood.

As for the American mood? Well, it was as lively as a Wisconsin bar at happy hour. Scottie Scheffler’s victory over the world No 1 Jon Rahm capped a thrilling weekend for the US rookie. Rahm, in partnership with Sergio Garcia, had carried the hopes of an entire continent with an unbeaten first couple of days but the burden took its toll. Scheffler’s opening salvo was fearsome as he hit the Spaniard with four straight birdies to surge into a convincing lead. Rahm never recovered and succumbed to a 4&3 defeat. It was a savage blow for Europe

The writing was on the wall and it was sprayed on in capital letters. Shane Lowry, the pumped-up, bellowing hero for Europe during Saturday’s foursomes which offered up a glimmer of hope, went down 4&2 to Patrick Cantlay as the USA edged towards the 14 ½ winning target. They were producing golf of the highest quality across the board

Bryson DeChambeau’s opening tee-shot on the first in his battle with Sergio Garcia had been a mighty statement of intent. His drive landed on the green, he gobbled up the eagle and he never looked back. “That was  a great start that pumped me up for the rest of the round,” he said of a match that would end in a 3&2 win for the barnstorming, big-hitter. He may polarise opinion but DeChambeau was showered in adulation after a win over the Ryder Cup’s most prolific points scorer.

It was a race to see who would push Team USA over the winning line. They were just about queuing up. It was Open champion Collin Morikawa who took Steve Stricker’s side to the promised land as his halved match with Viktor Hovland clinched the win. Not long after, Dustin Johnson’s last green victory over Paul Casey led to him becoming just the third player to win five matches out of five.

It had been a five star performance from a magical Team USA. The start of a new era? “I sure feel like it is,” said a jubilant Stricker. Roll on Rome, 2023.