The European Ryder Cup team made history on Friday as they dominated Team USA, taking a commanding 6.5-to-1.5 lead after day one. It was a historic day for the Europeans, as the U.S. failed to win a single match for the first time in Ryder Cup history.
European captain Luke Donald was thrilled with his team’s performance, calling it an “unbelievable start.” However, he reminded his team that the job is not done yet and they should remain focused on winning the upcoming sessions.
Several players stood out for Team Europe on day one. Luke Donald received praise for his captaincy, as he made all the right decisions and his team’s duos worked out perfectly. Jon Rahm had a stellar day, with three hole outs, including a crucial eagle putt on the 18th hole to halve the match. Viktor Hovland also shined, starting the Ryder Cup with a chip-in birdie and holing a massive birdie putt on the 18th to tie his match.
The host golf course, Marco Simone Golf Club, was also a winner on day one. With its challenging yet scorable holes and excellent sightlines for spectators, the course proved to be a fantastic match-play venue.
On the other hand, there were some losers from the U.S. team. Captain Zach Johnson faced criticism for his questionable decisions, such as sending out four Ryder Cup rookies in the morning foursomes and leaving four major champions on the bench. The move backfired, with the U.S. finding themselves in a 4-to-0 hole after the first session.
The Ryder Cup broadcast commercials also received backlash, with viewers expressing frustration at the excessive number of commercials and missed shots. Many believed that a prestigious event like the Ryder Cup should prioritize showing every shot live.
Individual players like Wyndham Clark and Jordan Spieth had disappointing performances. Clark played well for most of his match but stumbled down the stretch, ultimately halving the match. Spieth struggled to find fairways, and if it weren’t for his partner Justin Thomas, they might have lost their match.
As the Europeans celebrate their dominant performance on day one, both teams will regroup and prepare for the upcoming sessions. The Ryder Cup is far from over, and Team USA will be determined to stage a comeback and reverse their fortunes in the remaining matches.