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After a morning session in which the United States rolled to a 3-1 lead, Europe came storming back in the afternoon foursome sessions. Here’s how the afternoon matches broke down. Warning: not safe for American viewers.
Rose & Stenson def. Johnson & Fowler, 3&2
There were questions about how Henrik Stenson would handle himself in this year’s Ryder Cup, and Justin Rose was coming off a gutting last-hole loss in the opening session. Plus, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler were rolling with a strong first-session victory. It didn’t matter a bit, as the Euros ran up a lead of as much as five holes before giving the Americans back a bit of dignity. The first shot in what looked like an afternoon of annihilation for the Americans.
Total current score: USA 3, Europe 2
McIlroy & Poulter def. Watson & Simpson, 4&2
Well. This wasn’t pretty in the least. Rory McIlroy came in hobbled after the worst showing of any player in the morning, and Poulter was half a decade removed from his Ryder Cup prime. And after the Americans won two of the first three holes, it looked like trouble was ahead for Europe. But Poulter and McIlroy found their game, won four straight holes in the middle of the round, and never even breathed heavy after that.
Total current score: USA 3, Europe 3
Garcia & Noren def. Mickelson & DeChambeau, 5&4
This was a straight woodshedding, one of the most brutal beatdowns in recent Ryder Cup history. Sergio Garcia, one of the all-time Ryder Cup greats, justified his captain’s pick, and Alex Noren didn’t look much like a rookie, as the Europeans leaped out to a seven-hole lead by the turn. Phil Mickelson couldn’t find first gear, and Bryson DeChambeau couldn’t whip up an algorithm to compensate, and thus the U.S. surrendered the Ryder Cup lead.
Total current score: Europe 4, USA 3
Molinari & Fleetwood def. Spieth & Thomas, 5&4
And the collapse wraps with the total breakdown of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, a team that had played so well in the morning session. But Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood were unstoppable, helping Europe to its first-ever sweep of a foursomes event. The Europeans went up by three holes just six holes into the match, and buried the Americans by winning another four while Spieth and Thomas could manage only two. That’s domination.
Total current score: Europe 5, USA 3
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