’12 hungry guys, one heck of a lead,’ script’s just right for US at Ryder Cup

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US Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker is happy his team showed no mercy and increased the lead against Europe.
US Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker is happy his team showed no mercy and increased the lead against Europe. Photo: GolfDigest
Morning Foursomes
Facing a 6-2 deficit coming into Saturday’s play, Padraig Harrington’s European team was looking to stop the bleeding and begin an attempted comeback while Steve Stricker’s Americans were hoping to show no mercy and increase the lead.

Unfortunately for Europe, it was the latter.

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Match 1: Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia, EUR, def. Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger USA, 3 and 1

An incredible lead off match where the Spanish resistance dropped the first three holes and things looked more than bleak for the European team in general before an incredible turnaround. Rahm and Garcia lifted their game exponentially and secured the sixth and eighth holes before Garcia chipped in expertly on the ninth to flip the script completely.

 

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Score at match’s conclusion: USA 6, EUR 3

Match 2: Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa, USA, def. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton, EUR, 2 and 1


The Johnson/Morikawa duo stayed undefeated as a unit but they were made to work for it despite a dominant start.

 

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Score at match’s conclusion: USA 7, EUR 3

MATCH 3: Justin Thomas/Jordan Spieth, USA, def. Viktor Hovland/Bernd Wiesberger, EUR, 2 up

This one went to 18 but it was an unceremonious end after Wiesberger hit his approach to 18 into the water to sink Europe’s chances. This match will be remembered for Thomas’ approach to the 16th hole.

 

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Score at match’s conclusion: USA 8, EUR 3

MATCH 4: Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele USA def. Matt Fitzpatrick-Lee Westwood, EUR, 2 and 1

 

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The Tokyo Olympics gold medallist and FedExCup champion are undefeated in their Ryder Cup debuts. They rolled to another Foursomes victory at Whistling Straits after winning, 5 and 3, on Friday.

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Score at match’s conclusion: USA 9, EUR 3

Afternoon Four-Ball

After winning each of the first three sessions by a 3-1 margin, the United States fell behind early Saturday afternoon and lost the first two matches. Wins in the final two matches, however, gave the home team an 11-5 lead entering Sunday’s 12 singles matches.

 

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It is the United States’ largest lead entering singles against Europe and their biggest in the Ryder Cup since 1975. The six-point lead ties the modern record Europe set in 2004 at Oakland Hills in a record rout.

That final win, where Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler overcame a late deficit, may have put the Ryder Cup out of reach. Twice have teams come back from a 10-6 deficit – the U.S. did it at home in 1999 and Europe pulled it off nine years ago and just 150 miles away from Whistling Straits.

MATCH 2: Shane Lowry/Tyrrell Hatton, EUR, def. Tony Finau/Harris English, 1 up

 

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Shane Lowry, the 2019 Open champion, made five birdies in the first 10 holes, and Tyrrell Hatton added one at the 11th, to give the Europeans a 2-up lead. Europe won just two holes in this match but it was enough as the United States won just one hole.

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Score at end of match: USA 9, Europe 4

MATCH 1: Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia, EUR, def. Brooks Koepka/Jordan Spieth, 2 and 1

Jon Rahm made back-to-back birdies, including a long putt on 16 that was reminiscent of the putts he holed to win this year’s U.S. Open, to stave off a comeback from the Americans. The victory improved Rahm and Garcia to 3-0 as a pair this week and gave Rahm a 3-0-1 individual record.

 

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Score at end of match: USA 9, Europe 5

MATCH 4: Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa, USA, def. Ian Poulter/Rory McIlroy, 4 and 3

 

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The United States had lost its first two matches of the session but this pairing has been solid as a rock, going 3-0 as a team. They only lost one hole, the fifth, in this match and took a 3-up lead after winning Nos. 6-8. Six consecutive tied holes – including birdies by both Morikawa and Poulter on 14 – preceded the match ending on the 15th hole.

Score at end of match: USA 10, Europe 5

MATCH 3: Scottie Scheffler/Bryson DeChambeau, USA, def. Tommy Fleetwood/Viktor Hovland, 3 and 1

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This match, the final one to finish Saturday, kept Europe from pulling within 10-6, a deficit it has overcome before. The Europeans were 1 up through 13 but the U.S. responded with three consecutive wins to flip things around.

Score at end of match: USA 11, Europe 5