Europe sweeps foursomes for first time to start Ryder Cup

by Joanne Miller

Europe Dominates United States in Ryder Cup Opening Session

The United States team had a rough start in the opening session of the 44th Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club in Italy. The European team swept all four foursomes matches, creating history by going 4-0 in the Friday morning session for the first time ever. It was a complete domination by the European team, determined to reclaim the trophy after their defeat in 2021 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

This is only the fourth time that the European team has remained unbeaten in a session overall. The last time they had a lead after the first session was in 2006 when they won the Ryder Cup 18½ – 9½ in Ireland at the K Club in Straffan.

Irish golfer Shane Lowry expressed his satisfaction with the European team’s performance and emphasized the importance of maintaining their momentum. He acknowledged that there is still a lot of golf to be played and that they had set out to have a fast start, which they successfully achieved.

On the other hand, the American team, hoping to break their 30-year drought in Ryder Cups played outside the U.S., now faces an uphill battle. With 24 matches remaining, the U.S. team needs 14 points to retain the trophy, while the Europeans need 14½ points to win it back.

The first point of the day went to Spain’s Jon Rahm and England’s Tyrrell Hatton, who defeated world No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns with a 4&3 victory. Rahm and Hatton took control of the match early on and never let go. They secured their lead with impressive birdie putts and never allowed their opponents to catch up.

Brian Harman and Max Homa, representing the American team, didn’t fare any better against Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg from Scandinavia. The European duo dominated the match, winning 4&3. Hovland set the tone with remarkable chip-ins and birdie putts, leaving the Americans struggling to keep up.

In the third match, Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa were defeated 2&1 by Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka. Fowler missed a crucial putt that could have turned the match around, and the European pair capitalized on their lead and secured a victory.

Even the usually reliable pairing of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele couldn’t turn the tide for the Americans. They lost 2&1 to Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood. Despite a strong effort from the American duo to close the gap, McIlroy and Fleetwood maintained their lead and secured the win.

The United States team is now under pressure to bounce back in the remaining matches. The hope of ending their 30-year drought in Ryder Cups played outside the U.S. seems to be slipping away. However, in golf, anything can happen, and the Americans will need to regroup and strategize for the upcoming matches.

The Ryder Cup will resume with four four-ball (best ball) matches on Friday. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka, Max Homa and Wyndham Clark, and Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele will represent the U.S. team against their European opponents. The Americans will need to perform exceptionally well to turn the tide in their favor and regain momentum in the tournament.

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