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Monday, October 4, 2010
Updated: October 5, 2:07 PM ET
Final grades are in for Ryder Cuppers

By Jason Sobel
ESPN.com

NEWPORT, Wales -- By now, you know just how close the latest edition of the Ryder Cup was, coming down to the penultimate hole of the final singles match before Europe squeaked out a 14½-13½ victory.

But the score doesn't tell the entire story.

Check out a few other numbers from Celtic Manor for good measure. Such as the fact that every single player on both rosters earned at least a half-point. Or that only one, Stewart Cink, didn't post a single loss. Or that only four -- Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk -- failed to win a match.

Perhaps it's symbolic. In a year when parity has reigned on all major tours, it took hold of this biennial competition, as well, with many players feeling the ebbs and flows of success and failure.

Of course, in the end, some fared better than others. Time to lay it on the line with individual report cards for all 24 competitors.

Europe United States
Luke Donald

Player: Luke Donald
Record: 3-1-0
Sobel's grade: A

Analysis: Captain's pick proved his worth, hitting solid iron shots and clutch putts throughout the event, especially on Monday.

Steve Stricker

Player: Steve Stricker
Record: 3-1-0
Sobel's grade: A

Analysis: Played flawlessly in the first two sessions, then knocked off Europe's top player to begin singles on Monday.

Ian Poulter

Player: Ian Poulter
Record: 3-1-0
Sobel's grade: A

Analysis: The quintessential player whom you love if he's on your team and love to hate if he's not, Poults backed up his fiery demeanor.

Stewart Cink

Player: Stewart Cink
Record: 1-0-3
Sobel's grade: A

Analysis: Sure, he had chances to close out McIlroy in singles, but Cink still displayed savvy and guile throughout the event.

Graeme McDowell

Player: Graeme McDowell
Record: 2-1-1
Sobel's grade: A-

Analysis: No, he wasn't great, but he was great when he needed to be. He'll never hole a bigger putt than he did on 16 in singles.

Tiger Woods

Player: Tiger Woods
Record: 3-1-0
Sobel's grade: A-

Analysis: He was carried by Stricker at times, but the Tiger of old showed up Monday, playing 15 holes in a total of 9 under par.

Lee Westwood

Player: Lee Westwood
Record: 2-1-1
Sobel's grade: B+

Analysis: The man of the match for the opening three sessions, Westwood made only one misstep -- down the stretch in the opening singles match.

Jeff Overton

Player: Jeff Overton
Record: 2-2-0
Sobel's grade: B+

Analysis: Give the rookie an extra letter grade for showing the most raw emotion on the U.S. team, which should garner him many more supporters.

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Player: Miguel Angel Jimenez
Record: 2-1-0
Sobel's grade: B+

Analysis: After three Ryder Cup appearances away from home soil, he finally got to please the crowd with a regal performance.

Zach Johnson

Player: Zach Johnson
Record: 2-1-0
Sobel's grade: B+

Analysis: Seemed as if he never missed a putt from 10-15 feet. A bulldog competitor who's always a tough out in match play.

Rory McIlroy

Player: Rory McIlroy
Record: 1-1-2
Sobel's grade: B

Analysis: Criticized for calling this an "exhibition" beforehand, the 21-year-old came around, contending that this was the "best week of my life."

Rickie Fowler

Player: Rickie Fowler
Record: 0-1-2
Sobel's grade: B

Analysis: He was the subject of both folly (dropping the wrong ball) and fame (four birdies to halve singles match) in a noteworthy debut.

Ross Fisher

Player: Ross Fisher
Record: 2-2-0
Sobel's grade: B-

Analysis: At times, he looked like the best player on either team. But he clearly ran out of steam during a crucial stretch Monday.

Matt Kuchar

Player: Matt Kuchar
Record: 1-1-2
Sobel's grade: B-

Analysis: Couldn't quite carry over his season-long success, but he teamed with Cink to form a formidable duo in the first three sessions.

Francesco Molinari

Player: Francesco Molinari
Record: 0-2-1
Sobel's grade: C+

Analysis: The final record doesn't show much, but it was his final-hole up-and-down in four-ball that kept the momentum in Europe's favor.

Jim Furyk

Player: Jim Furyk
Record: 0-2-1
Sobel's grade: C

Analysis: No, he didn't win a match, but Furyk's five-birdie performance on Monday would have beaten Euros not named Donald.

Martin Kaymer

Player: Martin Kaymer
Record: 2-1-1
Sobel's grade: C-

Analysis: Riding the broad shoulders of Westwood for a few wins, the PGA champ looked unusually shaky on midrange putts.

Phil Mickelson

Player: Phil Mickelson
Record: 1-3-0
Sobel's grade: C-

Analysis: The enigma continues. Lefty was almost invisible in three team matches, then played superbly in singles.

Peter Hanson

Player: Peter Hanson
Record: 1-2-0
Sobel's grade: C-

Analysis: The most unknown player coming in, he might not have made a name for himself but did prove he belonged at times.

Bubba Watson

Player: Bubba Watson
Record: 1-3-0
Sobel's grade: C-

Analysis: The way Monty set up the course, it just didn't suit his grip-it-and-rip-it style. Looked like he ran out of gas late.

Edoardo Molinari

Player: Edoardo Molinari
Record: 0-1-2
Sobel's grade: D+

Analysis: Despite being 4-up with six to play in singles, he could manage only a half-point. Might have led all players in fist-pumps-to-birdies ratio.

Dustin Johnson

Player: Dustin Johnson
Record: 1-3-0
Sobel's grade: D+

Analysis: The most ineffective player through the first three sessions, he never looked comfortable until late in singles.

Padraig Harrington

Player: Padraig Harrington
Record: 2-2-0
Sobel's grade: D+

Analysis: Colin Montgomerie continually praised him for being a team-room presence, but Paddy was clearly a hindrance on the course.

Hunter Mahan

Player: Hunter Mahan
Record: 1-2-0
Sobel's grade: D

Analysis: Hate to pour it on a guy who feels awful right now, but he didn't come through when the team needed him most. He'll be back, though.

Jason Sobel is a golf writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at Jason.Sobel@espn.com