Rahm to face Scheffler in first Ryder Cup singles clash

by Joanne Miller

The Ryder Cup singles matches are set to take place on Sunday, and the opening clash will see Jon Rahm of Europe face off against Scottie Scheffler of the United States. Europe currently holds a commanding 10.5-5.5 lead over the US, and captain Luke Donald has chosen to send out his strongest players first to defend their lead.

Rahm has been a standout performer for Europe throughout the competition, earning 2 and a half points from three matches. On the other hand, Scheffler has struggled so far, only securing half a point. In Saturday’s foursomes, he was paired with Brooks Koepka and suffered a record-breaking 9 and 7 defeat against Europe’s Ludvig Aberg and Viktor Hovland.

In their first match of the event on Friday, Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton defeated Scheffler and Sam Burns. Now, Rahm will aim to replicate that success and secure another point for Europe.

Captain Donald has strategically placed all of his four rookies in the bottom half of the draw, hoping to finish the job early. In contrast, US captain Zach Johnson has placed out-of-form players such as Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, and Brooks Koepka lower down the order.

Despite the strong lineup, Johnson expressed confidence in his team, stating, “I like every square inch of our boat.” He believes that his chosen players are willing and eager to take on the challenge.

For Koepka, who had a difficult day on Saturday and was noticeably absent from the course during the afternoon session, there is an immediate opportunity for redemption. He will face Aberg in the seventh match.

Other notable matchups include Hovland against Collin Morikawa, Justin Rose against Patrick Cantlay, and Rory McIlroy against Burns. McIlroy, who was angered by the behavior of Cantlay’s caddie on Saturday, has stated that he wants the controversial scenes to motivate Europe on Sunday.

The singles session schedule is as follows (tee-off times GMT):
– 0935: Jon Rahm (EUR) v Scottie Scheffler (USA)
– 0947: Viktor Hovland (EUR) v Collin Morikawa (USA)
– 0959: Justin Rose (EUR) v Patrick Cantlay (USA)
– 1011: Rory McIlroy (EUR) v Sam Burns (USA)
– 1023: Matthew Fitzpatrick (EUR) v Max Homa (USA)
– And so on…

With Europe holding a significant lead, the pressure is on the United States to mount a comeback. However, the strong lineup and strategic pairings from both teams promise an exciting day of golf and intense competition. Fans can expect thrilling moments and impressive performances as the players battle it out for Ryder Cup glory.

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