There are various factors to take into account, including the fact that mentally the US golfers (and Eldrick in particular) are in a completely different place to the European version. For them, it really is a job and it really is all about me, me, me.
The European boys at the moment - and there is no guarantee it will continue - still benefit from the fact that their tour is, by comparison with the big show in the US, smaller, friendlier, more rough and ready. 15 to 20 years ago, your average Euro player (ie, largely GB & I, as even with the rise of Seve and Bernhard and co the European element was still minor) would play his round, try to beat his oppo's brains out ... and then get bladdered with him in the bar. And was as likely to do that on Saturday night as before Wednesday practice. They were mates. Ian Woosnam used to drive to tournaments in a 20yo VW Kombi, surviving on baked beans and toast and six packs of beer.
Nowadays they tend to go to bed early, or at least earlier - but the attitude remains.
After the final putt dropped, David Toms was asked what the US team would do. He said they'd spend some time together as a team, think about what they'd done right and wrong, and travel tomorrow.
If Woosie's boys had lost, they would have headed for the bar to drown their sorrows, and tried to drag the winners in to help. They would have insulted and abused each other and laughed till they cried, because they are a team. They're mates. Padraig Harrington got half a point from five matches; he got the biggest cheer from his mates.
You can't talk about the courses, as such. The K Club was designed by an American, for American tourists. The US are unlikely to ever have such a good opportunity again in Europe - I certainly hope not; the Cup should be held on links over here, I think.
So much of it is intangible. Yes, the US had the (deservedly) top three in the world. But Europe had nine of the top 25; that's depth. And everyone in the team wanted to be in the team. Did you see Bjorn's anger at not being picked? But Woosie was right; if he had DC in the team, he had to have Lee Westwood to play with him.
But despite the glum faces of the US team, let's not forget their demeanour; I have rarely seen such grace in defeat, and their attitude and sportsmanship was a joy to watch. McGinley's gesture in offering a half to a rookie who had a 20ft putt was simply recognition of an individual opponent who had given his all, and a team which had brought nothing but credit on themselves.