A look at Friday’s Ryder Cup matches:
Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, Europe, def. Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, 3 and 1 years old.
The Americans took the lead quickly when Thomas birdied 6 feet. Garcia hit his tee shot from 15 feet to set up a birdie on the third to tie the game, then Rahm punched a 60-footer just off the green for Europe’s first lead. Europe took control as Rahm netted three birdies in four holes for a 3-point lead. The Americans tried to recover. The big moment came on the 15th. Spieth hit 8 feet and it looked like the Americans could cut the deficit to one hole with three to go. But Garcia did a 25-footer and Thomas missed the birdie putt. Europe was asleep. It ended in a wild moment on the 17th when Spieth struck from the side of a 6 foot slope and the momentum of his swing sent him hurtling down the hill towards Lake Michigan to avoid falling. Thomas missed the putt and they conceded the game.
Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa, USA, def. Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland, Europe, 3 and 2.
Johnson made sure the Americans got off to a steady start with a great wedge of native grass that created a birdie and a nice chip to split the second hole in half. Europe took their only lead with a par at No.4 thanks to a savage drive from Johnson. The Americans equalized when Johnson birdied 12 feet at No.6, took the lead when Casey missed the seventh green that led to the bogey and sealed it with back-to-back birdies at the 11th and 12th holes for a 3 point lead. They closed it when Johnson found the fairway at the 16th par-5 and Morikawa hit the fairway metal 30 feet for a two-putt birdie.
Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger, USA, def. Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick, Europe, 2 and 1.
There were few memorable moments in this one. The Europeans never trailed more than two holes and the game was tied at the turn. Koepka birdie 6ft at No.10, hit a 6ft corner at No.11 for Berger to hit the birdie putt, and they were on their way. The teams halved the remaining six holes, with Westwood missing an 8-foot putt in the 17th, which sealed the European defeat.
Patrick Cantlay and Xander Sc Chaudle, United States, def. Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter, Europe, 5 and 3.
The Americans never lagged in the last game of the morning, taking the lead with a birdie in the first when Cantlay drained a 5-footer to start a five-game winning streak. They won the second par 5 with a par and the fourth hole with a par. The Europeans made a brief comeback, starting with birdies at No.10 and 11 to narrow the lead to 3. McIlroy hit his tee shot on the 12th at 8-foot-by-3 for a birdie, but ScHotele hit his corner 2 feet away for a conceded birdie. They tied the birdies on the 13th as well. But Cantlay’s 14th par 4 approach rolled within 3 feet of the flag to set up the Americans’ sixth birdie and restore a 4-point margin. They closed it at the next hole when the Europeans failed to birdie and conceded a fourth consecutive birdie to end the game.
Dustin Johnson and Xander Sc Chaudele, USA, def. Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger, Europe, 2 and 1.
Johnson hit his tee shot at 4 feet for a birdie in the third par 3, and the Americans were on their way. Casey’s birdie in the ninth reduced the deficit to 1 for the last nine, but Johnson birdied the next three holes as the Americans regained their lead to 3. Europe tried to get at least a half of the game. match until ScHotele hits a nice 60-foot offset on the 17th and hits the 3-foot putt for the win.
Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, Europe, halved with Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler, United States.
It was DeChambeau’s show for much of the game, even though not all of his heavy training paid off. He walked through the massive bunker complex with a 417-yard drive that set up a flip wedge and an eagle to even the game. It was tight the rest of the way. Europe never led, but Rahm had two big birdies in the ninth and eleventh to eliminate the American advances. A par in the win was enough for the United States to take a 1 on 15 lead. Europe was down until the 18th when Hatton delivered his best shot of the day with a 5-7 iron, and he birdie putt to win the half.
Tony Finau and Harris English, United States, def. Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry, Europe, 4 and 3.
McIlroy hit a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 fifth hole for a 1-up lead, quickly knocked out when Finau drove the sixth green with a 330-yard drive at 15 feet and two birdie putts. English made his Ryder Cup debut with a big birdie in the eighth for America’s first lead, and Finau went from there. He birdieed the next two holes as the American took a 3-point lead and then birdied 12 feet in the 13th that sent them on their way. McIlroy lost both games and never reached the 16th hole.
Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland, Europe, halved with Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay, United States
Fleetwood and Hovland put the Blues on the board early with three birdies that gave them a 3 point lead. Thomas got emotionally involved with a ninth birdie to keep the game away from the Americans, and they pecked. Europe never won another hole past No.8. Cantlay again delivered a handy shot on the 12th par-3 to reduce the deficit. Thomas delivered the shot of the game, an 18-foot metallic fairway for the eagle on the 16th par-5 that squared the game. The 18th hole featured two bunker stops by Fleetwood and Cantlay, while Thomas and Hovland each had birdie chances in the 30-foot range. Neither came near and the match was cut in half.