GLENEAGLES, United Kingdom - America's greatest golfers were left searching for answers once again Sunday after losing the Ryder Cup to Europe for the third time in a row and eighth time in 10 tries.
The 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 drubbing at Gleneagles kept the US winless in Europe since 1993, ensuring a quarter-century before the Americans get their next chance for such a victory in 2018 in France.
A US squad that has not won the event since 2008 will not have a chance to reclaim the Cup until 2014 on home soil at Hazeltine in Minnesota.
"We're going to come back in two years," US captain Tom Watson vowed.
"We're going to come back stronger."
But it will be tough to solve the reasons why the Americans have lost so often after once dominating so much - they lead the overall rivalry 25-12 with two halved.
"To sit down and digest that, I don't think that takes minutes or even days. I'm sure it's going to take a little time," US nine-time Ryder Cup veteran Jim Furyk said.
"We always think we have an answer and we're going to move forward and this year is going to be different. We've obviously struggled."
The Americans were outscored 7-1 in foursomes matches over the first two days, leaving a 10-6 deficit entering the last 12 singles the Americans simply could not overcome.
"The foursomes was a surprise to me," Furyk said.
"I always feel like that's a format that we have been very strong at and where we've done really well in the past. Here we went out and won the fourballs 5-3 and got decimated 7-1 in the foursomes. All in all, it was too much to come back from."
Watson - whose advice to his 2016 replacement was "Embrace the moment" - made two tough calls in the afternoon foursomes sessions, benching rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed from the format on day one and Phil Mickelson and Webb Simpson for all of day two.
"I felt like we had a good team. We had a lot of guys we could play in the foursomes as well," Furyk said.
"It was difficult decisions for the captain. I felt like we had a lot of guys that could play well in that format."
Jimmy Walker, the third US rookie from a newcomer lineup that delivered 8 1/2 of America's 11 1/2 points, was left wondering what to do to stop the European juggernaut.
"They played great," Walker said. "Need to figure out if there's some kind of formula they are doing or what. I don't know. They're all great players. We saw see each other week in and week out and we beat each other week in and week out.
"It was a bummer to not win it. We all thought it was possible.
"It's one week. We look forward to the next time."
Leaders, teamwork help
World number one Rory McIlroy cited European leadership as a key factor, especially captain Paul McGinley.
"We have had a lot of great leaders the last few Ryder Cups," he said.
"Paul McGinley has been absolutely immense this week. He has left no stone unturned. He's just been fantastic."
McIlroy said European fans would have been devastated to lose while US star Bubba Watson said the defeat will not linger for him.
"No. That's two years away. I'm not worried about Ryder Cup for two years," the two-time Masters winner said. "I've got other tournaments to play this year, so I've got more (important) things to worry about."