Ryder Cup: Team USA dominate the foursome, leading Europe 3-1 in Whistling Straits
Europe’s Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia take the opening point, but Team USA dominate the opening session of the Ryder Cup and hold onto a 3-1 lead
- Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia give Europe their first point in the Ryder Cup
- However, Team USA would dominate the opening session in Wisconsin
- Dustin Johnson and Open Champion Collin Morikawa tied the score
- Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger saw Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick down
- Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay dominated Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter
Europe got an unwelcome sense of déja vu as the United States claimed a 3-1 lead after the opening session of the 43rd Ryder Cup in Whistling Straits.
World number one Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia led from the front with a foursome win over top American couple Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, but that was the only good news for Padraig Harrington’s side.
Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa defeated Paul Casey and Norwegian rookie Viktor Hovland 3 and 2 to tie the scores, while Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger defeated Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick 2 and 1.
Brooks Koepka Clashes With Daniel Berger After Beating Lee Westwood And Matt Fitzpatrick
At least Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter had avoided suffering a record defeat to Patrick Cantlay and Patrick Schauffele after losing the first five holes, but the eventual loss of 5 and 3 was a demoralizing blow to one of Europe’s star combinations.
Europe also lost the opening session 3-1 in Paris in 2018, albeit in fourballs, but won all four afternoon games en route to a comprehensive seven-point win at Le Golf National.
Garcia already held the record for most points scored in the Ryder Cup with 25.5 and Friday’s win was his 23rd overall, equaling Nick Faldo’s record.
Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia took Europe’s lone point from the opening session in Wisconsin
The Spanish couple’s opening point was as good as it could get from a tough morning session
Rahm hit a nearly 60-foot hole for birdie on the fourth and further birdies on the eighth and 10th put the European pair at the head, with Garcia crucially making a 25-foot hole before another on the 15th before Thomas missed much closer .
The Americans won the 16th to keep the game alive and Spieth then played an extraordinary shot of thick rough on a steep bank to the left of the 17th green, the slope forced him to turn and nearly run into Lake Michigan as he struggled to regain his footing. balance, only for Thomas to miss the par putt.
“I don’t think I exaggerated that fall, you know how steep it is,” Spieth said. “Once I started moving, I was like, I have to keep moving until I find a flat spot.
Dustin Johnson and Open Champion Collin Morikawa tied the score for Team USA
Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy threatened to suffer the heaviest defeat of the foursome
McIlroy and Poulter were two over par for the first five holes and faced the heaviest defeat ever in a foursomes match, the biggest victory margin of 7 and 6 most recently achieved by Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley against Westwood and Luke Donald in 2012.
It took until the 10th hole for an excellent throw from Poulter to set up a first birdie of the day and par was good enough to win the next before Schauffele nearly hit his tee shot on the par-three 12th.
The birdie was rightly awarded, but Poulter hit a nine-foot hole for a half and both teams also birdied the next before two more birdies from the Americans sealed the win.
McIlroy congratulates Xander Scahuffele on his win with partner Patrick Cantlay
“The start wasn’t great,” McIlroy said. “I don’t know if anyone could have beaten Xander and Patrick today. They played really well, four birdies in a row.
“They were a great combination today and you can only praise them for the way they played.”
Westwood missed a birdie on the opening hole from 1.20m and he and Fitzpatrick did not lead at any stage, while Casey and Hovland were one over four before their opponents made three consecutive birdies from the 10th to turn the tide.
Berger celebrates after making a putt as he and Koepka won their foursome
Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay shake hands after a successful morning for the hosts