Xander Schauffele reveals Tiger Woods inspired Team USA with motivational message

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 Team USA's Tiger Woods looks dejected in 2018 - Reuters
Team USA's Tiger Woods looks dejected in 2018 - Reuters

Tiger Woods may be on crutches but the Americans still saluted him for making a contribution to their dominant first day. The in-form Ryder Cup rookie Xander Schauffele revealed that Woods had sent a message of support to the team on Thursday night.

Woods – who is recovering from injuries sustained in a car crash in February – has never been renowned for his team-golf pedigree. Even so, he remains an icon of the sport. And Schauffele – the 27-year-old who took two points from two on his debut – said on Friday that he had been inspired by Woods’s contribution.

"We had a nice message from Tiger last night," said Schauffele, the recent Olympic champion, who played smoothly enough yesterday to win both his matches without having to play the 18th hole.

"I'm obviously not going to reveal what it said,” Schauffele added, “but Pat [Cantlay] and I knew. We referred to it a few times today and we knew what we needed to do. We knew he was fist-pumping from the couch. Whether he was on crutches or not, he's as fired up as any back at home. It's nice to have his support."

Schauffele’s foursomes partner Patrick Cantlay – who lives within a par five of Woods at the exclusive Florida golfing resort of Jupiter – was also grateful for the message. Only last week, Cantlay had visited Woods, and received a useful briefing on the challenges he might face at his first Ryder Cup.

“There is no better role model and no better leader," said Cantlay of Woods. “[He is] just somebody you can always learn from. I saw him last week at home and just picked his brain on Ryder Cup and applied some of that here today."

Team USA's Xander Schauffele celebrates with Team USA's Patrick Cantlay on the 15th green - Reuters
Team USA's Xander Schauffele celebrates with Team USA's Patrick Cantlay on the 15th green - Reuters

Cantlay and Schauffele delivered a crushing blow to European morale on Friday with a burst of five straight winning holes at the start of their foursomes match against the vaunted European pairing of Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter.

One of the familiar faces walking the course for that match was Steph Curry, the three-time NBA champion from basketball team Golden State Warriors, who has a sideline as a golf commentator. Later on in the day, the even more renowned basketball giant Michael Jordan took up residence on the grassy bank at the back of the 11th hole, where he and a buddy smoked the gigantic cigars that he is renowned for.

Michael Jordan watches at the 11th hole during a four-ball match the Ryder Cup at the Whistling Straits Golf Course  - AP
Michael Jordan watches at the 11th hole during a four-ball match the Ryder Cup at the Whistling Straits Golf Course - AP

Such is Jordan’s presence that he turned the whole area into his personal sitting room. He might almost have been lounging on his own sofa as he gave the American golfers encouraging nods and thumbs-up gestures.

During the afternoon fourballs, the best moment on that 11th green was Dustin Johnson’s 16-foot birdie putt, which took him and Schauffele – yes, that man again – into a two-hole lead over Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger. Jordan and his pal responded with identical raised-fist salutes, although Johnson – a man locked in a bubble of concentration – did not seem to notice as he moved on impassively to the 12th tee.

Day one as it happened

11:42 PM

Final thoughts

That's all from me, be sure to return to follow day two on our live blog tomorrow. Europe were simply overpowered, outclassed and outputted by the Americans, with Dustin Johnson and Tony Finau two of the star performers. The big question for Padraig Harrington is whether he sits down the horribly out of nick Rory McIlroy for the morning foursomes. It's a big call...

To put Europe's task in some context, they came from 10-6 down to win the 'Miracle at Medinah' in 2012. They need to win four points tomorrow just to be in that position again.

11:31 PM

Result: Thomas and Cantlay finish all square with Fleetwood and Hovland

11:30 PM

Justin Thomas knocks in his par putt

And it means USA take a 6-2 lead into Saturday. Europe need a big morning.

11:30 PM

Fleetwood holes his putt for a par

A good up and down from the greenside bunker.

11:29 PM

Inexplicably, Thomas leaves his putt three foot short

That was a terrible effort by his standards. Now both pairs need to clean up from short range for pars.

11:28 PM

Hovland's birdie putt drifts left

That means Europe cannot win the full point. Justin Thomas has the chance to drive another nail into Europe's coffin her with his birdie putt.

11:26 PM

Excellent bunker shots from Fleetwood and Cantlay

They should secure the par fours, so it all comes down to whether Hovland or Thomas can hole one of their birdie putts. Or else a halved match will make it 6-2 at the end of day one.

11:21 PM

Cantlay missed the green right on the 18th

Was a long way back, 219 yards in, and it looks to have rolled back into the sand.

Fleetwood and Hovland will be next to play. The Englishman hits an almost identical shot to Cantlay, it looked great in the air but did not make the journey. Very solid shot from Hovland, but half a club too long as it settles on the back fringe. I think he thought that would be stiff.

Justin Thomas last to play after a 330-yard drive. Very good shot, about 20 feet below the hole. Odds-on a half from there, you'd have to say.

11:13 PM

To the 18th tee...

Patrick Cantlay splits the fairway with a superb drive on the 18th and Justin Thomas follows him with another ideal tee shot. The Americans have two players in the cut and prepared.

Pressure on Fleetwood and Hovland, but Fleetwood responds flushes one down the middle and Hovland does likewise. Four cracking tee shots under immense pressure.

11:08 PM

Thomas just a few rolls short....

That was a tricky slider from left to right and it doesn't drop. The final match is heading to the 18th all square.

11:07 PM

Another great try from Hovland on the 17th

But after a fine iron shot, the putt slips by the hole. It means Justin Thomas has a putt to put USA one up with one to play in that final match.

11:03 PM

Result: Hatton and Rahm tie their match against DeChambeau and Scheffler

11:01 PM

Tyrrell Hatton with a closing birdie to secure half a point

That was a humdinger of a game featuring Rahm, DeChambeau and Scheffler. It means Europe have at least avoided a clean sweep in the four balls.,

11:00 PM

Rahm's putt slips by the right edge...

It all comes down to Tyrrell Hatton's putt from short range, about seven or eight feet I believe.

10:59 PM

Rahm and Hatton have two putts to salvage a half

The Americans can do no better than four on the 18th.

10:59 PM

It's another cracker from Justin Thomas

One of the few players to get it all the way back on the 17th, will have 20 feet or so for birdie with Cantlay also on the putting surface. Pressure on Hovland and Fleetwood now.

10:57 PM

DeChambeau's chip comes up a little shy

A testing putt coming up for a par with Scheffler facing a long-range birdie putt.

10:55 PM

Justin Thomas eagle! He and Cantlay now all square

How Fleetwood could rue those missed putts early in the back nine. Picture book golf from Justin Thomas, and the Americans have all the momentum as they head to the 17th tee. What can Hovland and Fleetwood produce.

10:53 PM

Hatton goes right at it!

He has hit some magnificent iron shots today, and there is another, peeling from left to right to the back right flag. Will have eight feet or so for birdie and potentially for the half point.

Rahm's iron shot was leaking right but it gets a good bounce and that will be another birdie putt. They could not have played that hole any better.

10:51 PM

Great shot from Scottie Scheffler

Out of position right on the 18th, but he manufactures an excellent shot to find the heart of the green.

Good job he did too, because DeChambeau has leaked his second shot right of the green and is down in a dip. Not much green to work with there. Rahm and Hatton approaches to come...

10:50 PM

A moment of magic from Justin Thomas on the 16th

Slings a towering draw into the par five with a fairway metal and it just about stays up, bounces forward and he will have 15 feet or so for eagle from the back fringe. Hovland slightly scuffed his second, while Tommy Fleetwood has hit a snap hook into Lake Michigan. Advantage USA there.

10:45 PM

Scheffler loses his drive on the 18th well to the right...

But DeChambeau produces a solid tee shot down the left side of the fairway with his three-wood. Remember, USA just need a half to secure their sixth point of the day.

Rahm stands up and crushes a driver a long way down there into perfect position. Hatton follows him into the cut stuff. Advantage Europe with two balls in the fairway.

10:40 PM

Great try from Hatton, but Scheffler and DeChambeau head to the 18th tee one up

He bolted that putt at the hole and it graized the right edge. The first match of the day goes to Whistling Strait's 18th hole.

10:38 PM

On the 17th...

Rahm has safely secured the par for Europe, so Hatton can give his birdie putt a run.

DeChambeau's putt was good for pace but not for line, so work to do to clean up for par.

Back on the 15th, it's official: Hovland and Fleetwood are one up with three to play.

10:36 PM

Back to Holvand and Fleetwood

Still one up and on the 15th green against Thomas and Cantlay. Hovland's birdie putt threatens but runs five feet or so past. Cantlay with a good lag putt from long range, before Thomas' putt dribbles past the right edge. Looks like that match will stay as is.

10:31 PM

Two really solid tee shots from Scheffler and DeChambeau on the 17th

This is a really tough par three, back into the wind with trouble all the way down the left. Pressure is all on Rahm and Hatton now.

The World No 1 is up first for Europe, the crowd are starting to get a bit too rowdy, and Rahm hits a decent shot but he is further away than the Americans. Will be 50 feet or so for birdie.

Hatton up with a hybrid club, and it's a cracking shot. Right over the top of the flag but it runs out to 25 feet or so.

10:27 PM

The home crowd in buoyant mood

10:25 PM

Scheffler secures a half for USA on the 16th

Rahm, Hatton and DeChambeau will both have birdie putts, but the Europeans are further away. Rahm caught a mouthful of sand with his third from the bunker.

Hatton's attempt is short of pace, what can Rahm produce? About 12 feet or so away, close to the fringe.

And he drains it! Rahm is almost a one-man band out there for Europe.

And after DeChambeau's putt missed, Scheffler held steady to roll in a birdie putt from four or five feet. To the 17th they go.

10:20 PM

Two matches left on the course

DeChambeau and Scheffler one up against Rahm and Hatton with three holes to play. Fleetwood and Hovland one up on Cantlay and Thomas with four holes to play.

Europe really need both to go their way. If both went red then that might almost be curtains on day one.

10:19 PM

Result: Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele win 2&1 against Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger

10:18 PM

Schauffele converts!

It's another point on the board for the Americans, they are now 5-1 in front and leading in one of the two remaining matches.

10:17 PM

Wiesberger holes his par putt on the 17th

That's a good up and down from the Austrian who has played nicely on debut. Schauffele has a par putt to win the match from not much more than three feet though.

10:16 PM

Result: Tony Finau and Harris English win 5&3 against Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry

10:15 PM

Tony Finau has holed yet another birdie putt!

This has been some performance from Finau, and that birdie on the 15th means he and Harris English have beaten Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry 5&3. It's the first time McIlroy has lost two Ryder Cup matches in one day.

10:13 PM

Schauffele puts USA on the brink

That's an excellent first putt from long range on the 17th, judges the pace well and it should secure the part they need to win the match. Wiesberger hit a good chip from the rough, but Europe needed a birdie.

10:09 PM

Fleetwood with another good iron shot

Will have 15 feet or so for birdie on the par four 14th. Can his putter deliver on this occasion?

10:08 PM

Excellent from Johnson and Schauffele

Casey and Wiesberger miss the green right on the 17th, but Schauffele flights a beautiful draw into the heart of the green before Johnson hits a piercing tee shot through the wind which settles on the back edge. That might be Casey and Wiesberger's race run.

10:03 PM

Latest scores: USA heading for 6-2 lead as things stand

  • Johnson/Schauffele 2 up against Casey/Wiesberger thru 16

  • DeChambeau/Scheffler 1 up against Rahm/Hatton thru 15

  • Finau/English 4 up against McIlroy/Lowry thru 14

  • Thomas/Cantlay one down Fleetwood/Hovland thru 13

10:02 PM

Paul Casey makes birdie to continue the top match

Classy birdie four from Casey on the par five 16th with a putt to match and it takes the contest to the last two holes. Europe two down against Johnson and Schauffele.

10:01 PM

Scheffler misses...but DeChambeau doesn't

That feels like a crucial swing. USA now leading in three matches, including the one featuring Europe's main man Rahm. He and Tyrrell Hatton have just three holes to rescue themselves.

09:59 PM

Tyrrell Hatton's par putt slips by on the 15th

With Rahm also making bogey, it means DeChambeau and Scheffler have short putts to put USA one up with three to play.

09:56 PM

Tommy Fleetwood finally holes a short one on the 13th

It keeps Europe one up in the final match, the only contest in which the men in blue are leading currently.

09:52 PM

It has not been Rory's day

Team Europe's Rory McIlroy reacts during the Four-balls - Reuters
Team Europe's Rory McIlroy reacts during the Four-balls - Reuters

09:50 PM

Good recovery from Scheffler

He could not see a thing from the wrong side of the dunes, but his second shot drops out of the sky just right of the green. Should be a presentable up and down from there.

Rahm still has 196 yards for his third shot, and he tweaks it a little left into the greenside bunker.

DeChambeau is in perfect position, 170 yards left for his second, and he finds the middle of the green. A long way away, but USA will likely only need a par.

09:47 PM

Rahm and Hatton's match against DeChambeau and Scheffler is crucial

Rahm missed the fairway left on the par four 15th, and was able to chop out into the fairway. Hatton's second has found sand. Scheffler has managed to find a lie in the waste ground after going miles left with his drive, looked like he slipped. The match is well poised at all square.

09:45 PM

Finau has been brilliant

He is the only member of his match to get it all the way back on the 14th into the breeze to set up a birdie chance. Lowry and McIlroy are four down and will be putting for birdie from miles downtown.

09:39 PM

Wiesberger rolls in a gutsy par putt at the 15th

He and Casey keep themselves in the contest, but they are three down against Xander Schauffele and Dustin Johnson. USA are assured of at least half a point from that match, but they will want to secure the point as soon as possible.

09:33 PM

Finau rolling the rock again - Lowry and McIlroy four down

Supposedly a poor putter, but you would not know it on today's evidence - Finau has rolled in another birdie of the 13th. He and Harris English now four up with five to play. A tough day at Whistling Straits for McIlroy.

09:32 PM

Hovland misses...Cantlay and Thomas are back to one down

They probably should have been dead and buried but Fleetwood left them off the hook at 10 and 11. Nervous times for the European pair now.

09:30 PM

Patrick Cantlay with a dagger at the par three 12th

Spins his wedge back to within six inches at the shortest hole on the course. Fleetwood gives his birdie putt from 50 feet a good try, but his distance control was way off on the tee shot. He needs Hovland to step up and convert from around 15 feet or else the lead will be back to one.

09:22 PM

Another chance gone for Fleetwood.

A well played hole from Fleetwood, finding the left side of the fairway and sending his wedge shot to within six feet for birdie. But just like at the 10th, the putter lets him down as he misses right and Thomas and Cantlay remain within two.

09:13 PM

Latest scores

  • Johnson/Schauffele 3 up against Casey/Wiesberger thru 13

  • DeChambeau/Scheffler all square against Rahm/Hatton thru 12

  • Finau/English 3 up against McIlroy/Lowry thru 11

  • Thomas/Cantlay two down Fleetwood/Hovland thru 10

09:12 PM

DeChambeau/Scheffler vs Rahm/Hatton remains all square

DeChambeau's drive found a greenside bunker on the 394-yard par four, but his bunker shot was poor. Rahm and Hatton saw outside birdie chances slip by, before Scheffler also scare the hole from 20 feet. The hole is halved in four.

09:05 PM

Fleetwood misses a chance to go three up

It was a well judged chip up the gut of the 10th green but he tweaks the putt from five feet or so wide of the mark. Cantlay and Thomas stay within two.

08:57 PM

Schauffele steps up to the plate to halve the 13th

He and Johnson remain three up with five to play. That was an unerring putt from 10 feet or so for the half, judged the break from right to left perfectly.

08:55 PM

Justin Thomas' celebration on the ninth

08:52 PM

Brilliance from both pairs at the 12th

After Rahm fired his tee shot to within gimme range, Hatton's spins back to within four or five feet before DeChambeau tops them all by sneaking inside Rahm. Stunning golf, and it will be a half in birdies to keep the match level.

08:50 PM

Fleetwood and Hovland turn two up

Justin Thomas finally gets a putt to drop and he is pumping up the crowds around the ninth green. Europe's lead in the bottom match is two.

08:49 PM

Rahm birdies the 11th to draw all square

His match involving Tyrrell Hatton against Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler looks like it could go all the way. Rahm then steps up and hit his tee shot at the par three 12th to within a foot. No doubt that he is Europe's talisman.

08:47 PM

Finau and English now three up on McIlroy and Lowry

Finau unusually expressive in his celebrations as he bolts in a birdie putt from the back edge of the 10th, and McIlroy's putt for a three was always left. USA now have two strong leads out on the course.

08:41 PM

The latest scores: USA up in three

  • Johnson/Schauffele 3 up against Casey/Wiesberger thru 12

  • DeChambeau/Scheffler 1 up against Rahm/Hatton thru 10

  • Finau/English 2 up against McIlroy/Lowry thru 9

  • Thomas/Cantlay three down Fleetwood/Hovland thru 8

08:39 PM

Dustin Johnson is putting in some performance

The putter does not always behave for Johnson, but it is red hot right now. With Wiesberger in tight on the 12th, he rolls in another birdie putt from 20 feet or so to break European hearts. To Wiesberger's credit, he keeps his poise to match the birdie and halve the hole. Johnson and Schauffele remain three up.

08:34 PM

Wiesberger with a cracking approach on the par three 12th

That gives Europe the chance to peg Johnson and Schauffele back to two up immediately.

08:33 PM

Tony Finau's excellence

08:32 PM

Fleetwood and Hovland now three up against Thomas and Cantlay

And it is down to Fleetwood's second birdie in three holes. Toppling Thomas and Cantlay would be a big result for Europe.

08:28 PM

DeChambeau and Scheffler now one up

Scheffler buries the birdie putt from the back edge of the 10th and, for once, Jon Rahm cannot follow him in. All of a sudden the Americans are now up in three matches.

08:27 PM

Johnson and Schauffele are now three up in the top match

Michael Jordan punches the air as Johnson walks in a birdie putt on the 11th from 20 feet or so. Johnson has played some supreme golf today.

08:26 PM

Finau and English now two up at the turn

The nicest man in golf Tony Finau has made another birdie and Lowry and McIlroy are behind the eight ball as they head to the 10th tee.

08:24 PM

Michael Jordan out there cheering on USA

This Ryder Cup could well be the last dance for a few European players based on this morning's performances.

08:20 PM

The wind is making things very tricky

A helping breeze can actually make things more difficult on approach shots. Rahm and Scheffler struggling to keep their ball on the back edge from not much more than 50 or 60 yards.

08:15 PM

Tony Finau impressing again in the Ryder Cup

08:15 PM

Fleetwood steady on the greens

Short-range putting is not always his strongest suit, but he holds his nerve to keep that match against Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay two up after seven holes.

08:11 PM

Johnson converts the birdie at the 10th

He and Xander Schauffele are now two up against Casey and Wiesberger in the top match.

08:07 PM

The latest scores

  • Johnson/Schauffele 1 up against Casey/Wiesberger thru 9

  • DeChambeau/Scheffler all square with Rahm/Hatton thru 9

  • Finau/English 1 up against McIlroy/Lowry thru 8

  • Thomas/Cantlay two down Fleetwood/Hovland thru 6

08:06 PM

Birdie for Rahm on the ninth draws Europe all square

It feels like Europe have finally arrived as part of this contest, and all four games could go either way as we head towards the turn.

08:05 PM

English and Finau now one up against McIlroy and Lowry

A big fist pump from the rookie English, who converts for birdie on the eighth.

08:04 PM

Wonderful pitch from Johnson on the 10th

After a long drive, but Wiesberger and Casey also have looks at birdies coming up. Johnson is the closest though, just three or four feet away for birdie.

07:54 PM

Fleetwood and Hovland now two up!

Thomas and Cantlay race putts past the hole and Europe are now two holes to the good in the bottom match. That's the biggest lead of any match on the course.

07:52 PM

Cantlay's escape on the fifth

07:50 PM

Johnson and Schauffele now just one up

Paul Casey's fine birdie at the par four ninth has reduced the deficit. All four matches are delicately poised.

07:49 PM

DeChambeau and Scheffler now one up!

DeChambeau walks in a birdie putt and celebrates with gusto as the American pair seize the initiative against Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton.

07:40 PM

Lovely shot from Lowry at the seventh

Will have a birdie putt coming up, and it is much needed with McIlroy in trouble in the sand right. Schauffele has gone from sand to sand at the ninth, and Wiesberger has come up a little shy. Casey learns from that though, and fires a wedge to within five or six feet, which is inside Dustin Johnson's ball. A chance to pull within one at the turn.

07:37 PM

The latest scores

  • Johnson/Schauffele 2 up against Casey/Wiesberger thru 8

  • DeChambeau/Scheffler all square with Rahm/Hatton thru 7

  • Finau/English all square against McIlroy/Lowry thru 6

  • Thomas/Cantlay one down Fleetwood/Hovland thru 5

07:33 PM

Finau wins the hole with birdie

That brings he and Harris English back on level terms thru six against Lowry and McIlroy. Hatton's birdie putt slips by one hole ahead to the cheers of American fans, and that match stays all square. Four very tight matches this afternoon.

07:29 PM

At the sixth

Shane Lowry has slipped down a bank, be looks like he his fine. McIlroy almost produces a miraculous flop shot from rough but it needed another yard or so. Finau hit a brilliant tee shot with three wood and has a good chance for an eagle two.

07:25 PM

Rory McIlroy finding some form perhaps

07:23 PM

Another glorious iron shot from Tyrrell Hatton

On the par three seventh, he takes a super aggressive line, riding the wind and starting it over the lake in order to access the front right pin. Will be around six feet or so for birdie from there.

07:17 PM

DeChambeau/Scheffler and Rahm/Hatton halve the sixth

Several birdie putts slip by at the short part four and they remain all square.

07:17 PM

McIlroy and Lowry now one up!

He buries an eagle on the par five fifth after taking on the corner of the dog leg with the win behind. Found the green and drained a snaking right to lefter from 25 feet or so. Europe up in two matches now.

07:13 PM

Not the best pitch from Rahm

Was in good position near the green on the short par four sixth, but his ball gripped on its second bounce. That hole will be decided by a putting contest. Johnson/Schauffele have halved the seventh against Casey/Wiesberger to remain two up.

07:10 PM

Fleetwood and Hovland now one up!

Cantlay's putt to halve the fourth from fully 20 feet missed on the low side. Europe are now leading the bottom match.

07:01 PM

Three matches level now

  • Johnson/Schauffele 2 up against Casey/Wiesberger thru 6

  • DeChambeau/Scheffler all square with Rahm/Hatton thru 5

  • Finau/English all square against McIlroy/Lowry thru 4

  • Thomas/Cantlay all square Fleetwood/Hovland thru 3

07:00 PM

Johnson and Schauffle now two up through six

A power lip out from Schauffele and Casey and Wiesberger are back to just two down.

06:59 PM

DeChambeau's eagle wins the hole!

Hatton actually rattled in a birdie putt, but there is nothing you can do against golf like that from DeChambeau. That match remains at all square.

06:56 PM

Hovland and Fleetwood now level against Thomas and Cantlay

06:54 PM

Hole halved at the fourth

Big fist pump from Shane Lowry as he drains a par putt from 20 feet, but Harris English follows him in. That match remains all square.

06:53 PM

Brilliant from DeChambeau

That was a tricky approach shot with the wind howling at his back, but he flighted the pitch down and skipped it up to within a few feet for eagle. What a way to follow up the drive. That hole will surely go to the Americans.

06:50 PM

Just the 112 yards between playing partners Scheffler and DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau - Sky Sports
Bryson DeChambeau - Sky Sports

06:47 PM

Bryson DeChambeau has just cut the fifth down to size

With the wind at his back, he cuts the corner on the par five, driving over the heads in the crowd and crushing a drive 417 yards down the fairway. He could throw it on the green from there. Amazing stuff.

06:41 PM

Johnson and Schauffele three up!

They look awfully strong and a birdie four at the par five fifth gives them a commanding lead against Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger. Comfortably the biggest lead of any match on the course.

06:38 PM

Rahm and Hatton now one up!

There is some blue on the leaderboard after Scottie Scheffler misses from six feet on the fourth.

06:37 PM

Brilliant try from Hovland from long range

Scares the hole from 40 or 50 feet away on the second. Justin Thomas went close with his birdie try on the par five and Tommy Fleetwood grinds out a par with a solid putt from 10 feet. They remain one down.

06:31 PM

The wind snares Casey on the fifth

The wind is at their back on this par five, and Casey took five iron from 233 yards for his second but it rocketed over the back and into trouble. Just so hard to control distance. Schauffele has found the heart of the green in two with Johnson also in good shape just short.

06:28 PM

Lovely hands from Lowry

He, McIlroy and Finau all let their tee shots at the par three second drift away right on the breeze. The wind is really picking up now near Lake Michigan, making this course much more of a test. Lowry's pitch was excellent but McIlroy's shot from sand was too clean.

06:25 PM

The scores as things stand

  • Johnson/Schauffele 2 up against Casey/Wiesberger thru 4

  • DeChambeau/Scheffler all square with Rahm/Hatton thru 3

  • Finau/English all square against McIlroy/Lowry thru 2

  • Thomas/Cantlay 1 up against Fleetwood/Hovland thru 1

06:22 PM

A big chance goes for Casey and Europe

He tweaks a five foot putt for the win left at the fourth and he and Bernd Wiesberger remain one down against Johnson and Schauffele.

06:18 PM

Thomas and Cantlay one up!

A birdie three for Justin Thomas at the first is enough to hand them to initiative against Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland.

06:17 PM

McIlory/Lowry and Finau/English halve the second

Finau's birdie putt from around 12 feet slips by and that match stays all square. The score is the same in the match between DeChambeau/Scheffler and Rahm/Hatton.

06:04 PM

Johnson and Schauffele one up after three!

First blood to the Americans against Casey and Wiesberger, as Schauffele's hot putter delivers another birdie. Johnson did not even have to convert his excellent tee shot.

Hatton and Scheffler both birdied the second to halve that hole in their match.

06:02 PM

The final match teeing off on the first

Hovland finds the left side of the fairway with a good drive, Tommy Fleetwood's drifts into the first cut of rough down the left. They are up against Justin Thomas and man of the moment Patrick Cantlay, and they are also in good shape on the 380-yard par four first. All four fourballs matches are now under way.

05:57 PM

Hatton hits another shot stiff

His pitched third at the par five second checks up to four or feet for birdie. Rahm also bunts his third shot to within birdie range. A strong start from Hatton in this match.

05:55 PM

Lowry and Finau trade birdies at the first

The fantastic standard of golf continues, with Finau draining a birdie putt from more than 20 feet and he cups his ear to the home fans, who sound increasingly 'well refreshed'. All three matches all square at this very early stage.

05:54 PM

Cracking iron shot from Dustin Johnson

Any flag on the right of a green is right up his alley, and a trademark high fade lands within four feet at the par three at the second. Advantage USA over there.

05:51 PM


You can read James Corrigan's report from Whistling Straits on a dominant morning for USA in the foursomes.

The US have taken the lead after the opening session 13 times on home soil before - and prevailed on every occasion. That is the scale of the challenge facing Padraig Harrington’s team.

05:49 PM

DeChambeau's birdie on the first

05:48 PM

A chance goes for Wiesberger and Europe at the second

He missed a birdie putt from short-range on the par five which is playing as a three-shotter back into the breeze. Johnson makes his par with Schauffele in trouble, and the hole is halved.

05:45 PM

McIlroy and Lowry on the first tee

McIlroy tweaks his drive into some wispy rough down the left, and Lowry's drive settles about a yard off the fairway. Tony Finau steps up pounds a drive into perfect position, and rookie Harris English steps up and launches one about 10 yards by him.

05:41 PM

DeChambeau makes birdie before conceding Hatton's putt

That is a half in birdie threes at the first hole, a magnificent escape act from DeChambeau after finding the left hay. The fireworks have started.

05:36 PM

Cracking approach from Tyrrell Hatton

Throws it all the way up to the back left pin and it landed softly and rested within three or four feet for birdie. Europe looking odds on to win this first hole, with Rahm about 15 feet away for birdie also.

DeChambeau is among the dunes down the left, ball well below his feet, and with no room to work with he hits a stunning recovery shot. Will be around 10 feet for birdie.

05:32 PM

DeChambeau and Scheffler against Hatton and Rahm

Another gorgeous tee shot from Rahm splits the fairway, but Hatton's is pushed a tad. Nothing too dramatic, in the first cut of rough down the right.

The powerful Scheffler sends his drive straight down the middle, before the noise cranks up for Bryson DeChambeau's opening salvo.

Gives it plenty, but loses the drive left and his ball looks to have struck an unfortunate woman in the crowd on the shin.

05:24 PM

Wiesberger and Schauffele both make birdies

Nerves of steel from Schauffele who rolls his outside birdie chance right in the front door, which gives the home fans something to shout about.

Wiesberger makes no mistake from four feet or so, and that is a half in birdies.

05:19 PM

Wiesberger has settled quickly

Johnson's second shot comes in hot from the first cut, running through the green. Wiesberger fires a lovely approach to within five feet or so, before Casey disappoints from 91 yards. Comes up some 40 feet short. Decent shot from Schauffele, but that's some 20 feet short. Advantage Europe.

05:14 PM

To the first tee...

Paul Casey splits the fairway with the ideal tee shot, before the rookie and first Austrian to play in the Ryder Cup Bernd Wiesberger follows him into the cut and prepared. That will settle any nerves.

Schauffele launches one a long way down there, hugging the right side of the fairway. Johnson's drive drifts a little right but the rough over there is very forgiving and his ball is sitting up like a coconut.

05:09 PM

Very nearly time for lift off in the fourballs

Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele look a heck of a pair for Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger to take on. Casey played nicely this morning.

04:59 PM

Rotation, rotation, rotation

04:44 PM

This evening's fourballs matches!

04:31 PM

No point for Jordan Spieth but there was this moment of magic

04:26 PM

The foursomes results in full

  • Thomas/Spieth lose 3&1 against Rahm/Garcia

  • Johnson/Morikawa win 3&2 against Casey/Hovland

  • Koepka/Berger win 2&1 against Westwood/Fitzpatrick

  • Cantlay/Schauffele win 5&3 against McIlroy/Poulter

04:24 PM

Result: Koepka and Berger win 2&1 against Westwood and Fitzpatrick

04:23 PM

Good effort from Westwood with the putt

But neither pair gets their par putt to drop, which leaves Koepka around two and a half feet to secure the half and therefore the match. He makes no mistake and the USA have won their third match of the morning.

04:20 PM

To the 17th green

Fitzpatrick's pitch from the right of the 17th trundles around 10 feet beyond the hole, and Koepka's from a similar spot hangs out a touch to the right. Europe need to win a putting contest to keep the match going.

04:17 PM

Garcia speaks about his win

"It felt great. I knew who I had on my side and I wouldn’t change him for anyone. He made every putt he had to make.

"It was a good match and we had to play very well. Very happy to get a point for Europe."

04:17 PM

Result: Cantlay and Schauffele win 5&3 against Poulter and McIlroy

04:15 PM

Awful tee shot from Daniel Berger on the 17th

His iron shot squirts out to the right and is in the wispy grass, but unfortunately for Europe Westwood's shot lands in an almost identical spot.

04:13 PM

Berger's birdie try at the 16th runs out of gas

Westwood's did likewise and that will be a half in par fives on the 16th. USA now two up with two to play in that match. In all probability, Fitzpatrick and Westwood need to win the last two holes to prevent the Americans establishing a 3-1 lead.

04:10 PM

McIlroy and Poulter find the heart of the green on the 15th

Solid golf from them, but they require snookers at this stage. Schauffele once again tops McIlroy's attempt with his approach from further up the fairway, firing his iron shot to 10 or 12 feet. The end is nigh for Europe in the bottom match.

04:08 PM

Fitzpatrick comes up a little shy with his third at the 16th

Right on line, but it takes a seat on the fringe just short of the front pin on the par five. Koepka's pitch from the right of the green is decent, but it releases some 15 feet past. Two roughly equivalent birdie chances coming up. The Americans are two up in this match.

04:06 PM

McIlroy and Poulter now four down with four to play

Schauffele does the honours the putter and a birdie three puts them on the brink of securing USA's second point of the morning.

04:05 PM

A stunner from Cantlay on the 14th

Despite Poulter and McIlroy rallying, the USA pair might just be closing the door on them. Cantlay fires his approach on the 14th to within a few feet, they are now odds-on to return to four up.

04:01 PM

Result: Johnson and Morikawa win 3&2 against Casey and Hovland

04:00 PM

USA close to putting their first point on the board

Johnson lags the eagle putt to within a few feet on the par five 16th, and Casey and Hovland have only an outside chance of birdie after finding sandy trouble with their second shot. Decent attempt from Casey but it runs a few feet past...both pairs are making each other putt. Hovland cleans up for a par five, before Morikawa rolls in a putt from no more than two feet for he and Johnson's seventh birdie of the day. Match won.

03:53 PM

Result: Rahm and Garcia win 3&1 against Spieth and Thomas

03:53 PM

Justin Thomas' par putt slips by though

Which means Garcia and McIlroy have put Europe's first point on the board. Garcia has now matched Bernhard Langer's tally of points in Ryder Cup foursomes.

03:52 PM

Genius from Spieth - that's the shot of the day without a doubt

He was facing a wall of rough some 10 feet high below the level of the 17th green, and he manufactured the flop of all flops off a severe upslope that lands like a butterfly with sore feet within four feet of the cup. Spieth's momentum very nearly sent him tumbling down the hill and into Lake Michigan.

03:50 PM

Cantlay matches Europe's birdie at the 13th

It is more good golf from Poulter and McIlroy after their miserable front nine, but another birdie from the Americans still has them at arm's at three down.

03:46 PM

Schauffele and McIlroy trading blows again

They both hit delightful wedges into the par four 13th, and two short-range birdie putts coming up. Another win would bring McIlroy and Poulter to within two having looked dead and buried at the turn.

03:44 PM

Advantage Garcia and Rahm on the 17th

From 213 yards with trouble hugging the left side of the hole, Thomas pushes his iron shot right and it rebounds harshly off a dune and runs all the way off the other side of the green and over the sleepers.

Advantage Europe now, no risks necessary. Garcia's tee shot is also a little right but it is safe as houses. On the green and about 40 feet away.

03:40 PM

Garcia and Rahm now just two up with two to play

Spieth left the eagle putt around five feet short, so it's a knee-knocker for Thomas to keep the match going...but he is is up to the task. Off to the par three 17th they go.

Koepka and Berger are two up with four to play now against Westwood and Fitzpatrick.

03:37 PM

A half for McIlroy and Poulter at the 12th

They remain three down, but Poulter had to hole a 10 foot putt for a birdie. It at least keeps their momentum going, but they are running out of holes.

03:35 PM

Spieth and Thomas still fighting

Garcia's second shot with fairway metal came up short right, and Rahm's pitch did not make the journey and settles on the fringe. Justin Thomas found the green in two on the par five with a towering wood onto the surface, so the Americans are odds on to win that hole and keep the match alive.

03:30 PM

Schauffele responds to McIlroy...

That was outstanding from the 'X-Man'. Schauffele spins his wedge to within gimme range. They needed that to quell any hint of a comeback.

03:29 PM

Cracking effort from Dustin Johnson

Oh so close to going three up with four to play against Casey and Hovland, but the American lead in that match remains two.

Back at the 12th, McIlroy has fired his tee shot to within eight feet or so on the par three. Things starting to look brighter for the men in blue after a brutal hour or so.

03:27 PM

That Garcia birdie putt

03:27 PM

Poulter and McIlroy now just three down

They have won the first two holes of the back nine, finding the heart of the 11th green in regulation while Cantlay and Schauffele made bogey. Could this be the start of an audacious comeback?

03:26 PM

Another great escape from a European pair

Fitzpatrick flew the green and found the hay, Westwood chopped it out before his playing partner drained the par putt on the 13th. Berger missed his birdie putt and he and Koepka remain two up thru 13 holes.

03:24 PM

Garcia drains the birdie putt!

That is huge for Europe with the Americans in close on the 15th. The putt from 25 feet rolled right in the heart of the hole dead weight. Huge moment for Garcia, and it true matchplay style Thomas misses his birdie putt from around 10 feet.

Garcia and Rahm now three up with three to play. Europe are now assured of at least getting something on the board this morning.

03:22 PM

Spieth's tee shot on the 12th earlier

03:19 PM

To the 15th hole in the top match

Garcia hit the ideal drive, but in a stroke of misfortune it settled in a sandy divot. Rahm did well to dig it out and find the middle of the green, but Spieth is well inside him leaving Thomas with a good birdie chance from around 10 feet.

03:17 PM

What a win for Casey and Hovland

Despite finding the jungle off the tee, Hovland drains and gutsy par putt and they reduce the arrears to two down with five to play. Sloppy from Johnson and Morikawa to let them off the hook there.

03:16 PM

Poulter stands up and finds the fairway on the 11th

Some goon in the crowd shouts "get in the sand". Cantlay booms one past the European pair with a magnificent drive that splits the fairway.

03:13 PM

McIlroy and Poulter get one back

Patrick Cantlay duffed his pitch on the 10th to hand Europe the hole, and it reduces the deficit to four down with eight to play. They couldn't, could they?

03:11 PM

A painful near miss for Westwood at the 12th

His birdie putt from the fringe did everything but fall after the Americans made par. A chance goes and Koepka and Berger remain two up with six to play.

03:10 PM

Just a half for Thomas and Spieth at the 14th

Not a bad outcome for Garcia and Rahm who remain two up with four to play. Spieth very aggressive with his birdie putt, but Thomas cleaned up the return. At the 13th, Casey found the thick stuff down the right off the tee so advantage Johnson and Morikawa on that hole.

03:07 PM

The linksy feel of Whistling Straits

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and team Europe (L) and Ian Poulter of England and team Europe walk down the first hole - Getty Images
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and team Europe (L) and Ian Poulter of England and team Europe walk down the first hole - Getty Images

03:03 PM

To Garcia and Rahm

Garcia's wedge shot into the par four 14th grew teeth too quickly and ripped back off the front of the green and settles on the apron. Thomas does not make the same mistake, throwing it over the pin and spinning it back to 15 feet or so.

03:01 PM

Johnson and Morikawa now three up!

Casey and Hovland did not do much wrong, but were beaten by a brilliant birdie. The Americans are now three up with six to play.

Koepka and Berger have won the 11th, so they are two up on the 11th against Westwood and Fitzpatrick.

The USA are now up by three, two and five in the three of the matches.

02:58 PM

Cantlay and Schauffele turn five up

And they came within a whisker of making it six but Cantlay's birdie putt from 20 feet lipped out. It looks very much like McIlroy and Poulter's race is run.

02:56 PM

Score update

  • Thomas/Spieth 2 down against Rahm/Garcia thru 13

  • Johnson/Morikawa 2 up against Casey/Hovland thru 11

  • Koepka/Berger 1 up against Westwood/Fitzpatrick thru 10

  • Cantlay/Schauffele 5 up against McIlroy/Poulter thru 9

02:55 PM

Rahm and Garcia now only two up with five to play

Justin Thomas rattles in the birdie putt from four feet after Garcia missed narrowly. They say two up with five to play never wins...

Back on the par three 12th, Dustin Johnson has faded another beauty to within five feet or so. It feels like the Americans are in the ascendancy now, so important for Europe that Rahm and Garcia close out the top match.

02:52 PM

Johnson and Morikawa now two up!

Casey and Hovland suddenly find themselves in some trouble as they walk to the 12th. They could not match the quality of Dustin Johnson's iron shot and Morikawa did the rest with the putter.

02:50 PM

Brilliant from Spieth on the 13th

Rahm with a solid approach to 15 feet or so but Spieth hits a low skipper with a sand wedge which dances around the hole and will leave Thomas with four feet for birdie. That was a touch of class from Spieth.

02:49 PM

Koepka and Berger now one up

It was a great pitch from an upslope short of the green by Berger, and this time Koepka made no mistake with the putter. They lead Fitzpatrick and Westwood as they head to the 11th.

02:46 PM

Garcia gets away with on the 13th

That was almost a stone cold top with a three-wood, it barely got more than five feet off the ground. But it finished in the short grass. Justin Thomas with a booming drive down the right which finds the fairway.

02:44 PM

McIlroy and Poulter still five down

But they missed a golden opportunity to reduce the deficit on the eighth, taking three putts from around 30 feet or so. Poulter uncharacteristically missing from short range. Schauffele and Cantlay retain their advantage.

02:42 PM

Garcia's birdie putt on the 12th misses

A big chance for Justin Thomas to get one back for the USA, but he plays too much break and it runs past the cup from around 10 feet. Europe remain three up, and now just six holes to play. The greens at Whistling Straits look very slick, lots of putts running on as they pass the hole.

02:39 PM

Here is the par three 12th...

02:37 PM

On the daunting par three 12th...

It is only a wedge for these players but the pin is tucked away in a bottleneck back right of the green with sand awaiting on all sides. Rahm stands up and flushes his tee shot to around 10 or 12 feet, but Spieth betters him with another cracking shot that settles around eight or nine feet away. Birdie tries coming up.

02:35 PM

Fitzpatrick and Westwood win the 9th and turn all square

Lovely iron shot on the ninth from Matt Fitzpatrick and a good birdie try from Lee Westwood, but it slips by the right edge of the hole.

On the same green, Berger bolted his birdie putt around four to five feet past and Koepka tried to jam it in the right edge but it lipped out. A sloppy way to hand Europe the hole. Putts from that range are his weakness.

02:32 PM

Spieth and Thomas graft for a half on the 11th

Justin Thomas left his partner a nasty short putt for par and the half but Spieth was steady and converted. They remain three down with seven to play against Rahm and Garcia.

02:29 PM

Jon Rahm doing the business for Europe this morning

Team Europe's Jon Rahm reacts after making a putt to win the eighth hole - AP
Team Europe's Jon Rahm reacts after making a putt to win the eighth hole - AP

02:27 PM

Score update

  • Thomas/Spieth 3 down against Rahm/Garcia thru 10

  • Johnson/Morikawa 1 up against Casey/Hovland thru 9

  • Koepka/Berger 1 up against Westwood/Fitzpatrick thru 8

  • Cantlay/Schauffele 5 up against McIlroy/Poulter thru 7

02:26 PM

Johnson and Morikawa turn one up

This time Dustin Johnson holds his nerve on a tricky five-footer to ensure the half and they retain their advantage over Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland as they head to the 10th.

02:24 PM

Great try from Schauffele on the par three 7th

His birdie putt from 25 feet or so was tracking beautifully but trickled past the left lip. That would have been another dagger in the hearts of Poulter and McIlroy. Looking like a half in three, provided Poulter cleans up for par.

02:21 PM

A chance goes for Matt Fitzpatrick

Lee Westwood with a fine approach but Fitzpatrick's birdie putt slides by and they remain one down against Koepka and Berger. On the par four 11th, Rahm splits the fairway but Thomas has found the waste area with his drive.

02:20 PM

Rahm and Garcia now three up!

Lovely pitch from Garcia from short and right of the 10th green, and Rahm converts the par putt after Spieth misses. Europe now in command of the top match.

02:15 PM

Handing over the blog to Dan Zeqiri

We expect drama from the Ryder Cup, but perhaps not quite this early. Can Poulter and McIlroy dig themselves out of this hole, having not yet made a birdie? And can Rahm and Garcia keep their momentum going against the top American pairing? I'm handing over to Dan Zeqiri to take you through the rest of day one.

02:09 PM

McIlroy and Poulter five down!

They've only played five holes and they've lost every one! This time Schauffele made a putt of approximately 30 feet, putting the pressure on McIlroy's effort from eight feet. McIlroy - surely feeling the pressure - misses by an inch. His head drops. Got to hope that heads in the European team room don't do the same — because this was not what Harrington had planned when he picked this pair to go out last.

Psychological boost in the American team room could be huge if they can smash Mr Ryder Cup on the Friday morning. Also big questions for Harrington about whether he risks Poulter and/or McIlroy in the four-balls. So much to consider and we're only two hours into a three-day contest.

Ryder Cup - Reuters
Ryder Cup - Reuters

01:53 PM

Rahm/Garcia go two up

Back-to-back holes won by the Spanish duo as Rahm, for the second time in 15 minutes, rolls in a mid-distance putt. They're two up thru 8 and looking sublime. Surely they'll reprise this pairing in the fourballs this afternoon.

01:48 PM

Score update

  • Thomas/Spieth 1 down against Rahm/Garcia thru 7

  • Johnson/Morikawa all square with Casey/Hovland thru 6

  • Koepka/Berger 2 up against Westwood/Fitzpatrick thru 5

  • Cantlay/Schauffele 4 up against McIlroy/Poulter thru 4

01:44 PM

Getting worse for McIlroy and Poulter

McIlroy's tee shot looked well left on the fourth hole and Poulter's recovery bounced over the green. Can't see them winning this hole either. A four-hole horror show so far from the pairing tasked with anchoring the morning session for Team Europe.

Yep, four down thru four.

01:36 PM

Thought on Koepka playing in a hoodie?

Let us know in the comments.


01:34 PM

Sensational from Garcia and Rahm

Fresh off making him putt out for par on the sixth, the American piles more pressure on Garcia by dropping his tee shot to within seven feet on the par-three seventh. So Garcia steps up and cracks his own tee shot to six feet.

Rahm makes the birdie putt....and Spieth misses! Rahm and Garcia go one up. Game. On.

01:32 PM

McIlroy and Poulter three down through three

Cantlay and Schauffele busy dismantling Europe's premier pairing. After only three holes, McIlroy and Poulter face a real battle to salvage a point.

01:29 PM

Spieth and Thomas make Garcia putt

Tiny bit of niggle there from the Americans? Making Garcia putt from three feet on the sixth to keep that first match all square. Garcia rams his shot into the back of the cup and that contest continues.

01:23 PM

Caddy snaps at cameraman

Billy Foster, caddy to Matt Fitzpatrick, has a go at a cameraman on the fourth. "If you're going to make a noise with that tripod on every shot, will you go and watch anothe match, ok?"

Meanwhile, as the sun begins to warm the course, here's Daniel Berger on the second hole.


01:20 PM

McIlroy/Poulter in trouble on the second

McIlroy fails to get onto the gren with the third shot on hole two, and gives Poulter a tricky fourth shot. After losing the first hole, this is not a strong start from Europe's marquee pairing.

01:10 PM

Score update

  • Thomas/Spieth 1 down against Rahm/Garcia thru 4

  • Johnson/Morikawa all square with Casey/Hovland thru 3

  • Koepka/Berger 1 up against Westwood/Fitzpatrick thru 2

  • Cantlay/Schauffele 1 up against McIlroy/Poulter thru 1

01:08 PM

....and now Rahm's in the water

Hero to zero in the space of two shots as the world's best golfer finds America's biggest lake with his tee shot on the fifth.

01:04 PM

Rahm drains 30ft putt!

It's been threatening, and from the fringe of the green, some 30 feet away from the hole big Jon Rahm sinks his putt on the fourth for a second consecutive birdie. Shot of the day so far. Rahm/Garcia 1 up through four.

01:01 PM

Johnson misses; Hovland hits

After those glorious tee shots from Morikawa and Casey, only Viktor Hovland was able to hole out for the birdie. That match is back to all square.

12:58 PM

Poulter tees off

The final match of the morning session gets started with an Ian Poulter drive onto the fairway and a Pat Cantlay effort that finds the first cut of rough. All 16 players now out on course. A reminder at this point that Europe captain Padraig Harrington intends to use all 12 of his players today. It remains to be seen whether Steve Stricker will this afternoon unleash Bryson DeChambeau and the other three players who missed out this morning.

12:54 PM

Glorious tee shots from Morikawa and Casey

Both men striking their tee shots to within three feet: Casey by overshooting slightly; Morikawa - the iron-player per excellence - by undershooting and relying on the ridge down into the pin. High quality stuff, made possible by the very light winds.

12:49 PM

Hovland almost finds the hole with his approach

So, so close from the debutant on the second hole! Very nearly bounced into the cup. Pressure on Dustin Johnson's chip then....and he responds beautifully with a bunt to within three feet himself. If there's one player who won't feel the Ryder Cup pressure, it's DJ.

12:46 PM

Rahm and Garcia go all square

Rahm makes the birdie putt on the third to get his match back to level pegging - a birdie set up by Garcia's drive. After a wayward drive on the first and a slightly ropey second shot on the second, it would be highly useful, to say the least, if Garcia finds his radar.

12:40 PM

Third match gets going

Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger vs Lee Westwood, in his 11th Ryder Cup appearance, and Matt Fitzpatrick, playing this tournament for the second time.

Westwood finds the fairway, his ball heckled by shouts of "get in the bunker!"; Berger sends his ball into the first cut of rough. No problem there though.

Glorious morning scene in Wisconsin.


12:35 PM

First blood to USA

The first birdie and the first hole won as Collin Morikawa holes his putt, the third shot on the first hole, for a birdie that was set up by that sublime chip from Johnson. Meanwhile on the second green, Spieth holes out for another birdie. Americans one-up in both matches. Three holes played in total, out of a possible 504 over the next three days.

12:32 PM

Big cheers for Johnson - near miss for Casey

The World No 2 hacked Morikawa's drive out of the rough and to within a few feet of the pin. Lovely shot. Moments later, Paul Casey very nearly holed his putt on the first, from about 20 feet.

12:25 PM

Second match on the first tee

Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland pose for photos alongside their opponents Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa. Paul Casey has a bit of fun with the crowd, who were "ooooooo-ing" his practice swings....until he paused right in the middle of one. Respectful silence as the Englishman unleashes his tee shot into the fairway, which is crisscrossed by long morning shadows.

Collin Morikawa has the driver for the USA and finds a nasty looking patch of long grass on the edge of a bunker. Very close to the green though - shouldn't been too much trouble.

Tee box
Tee box

12:18 PM

Rahm makes the par putt...

...and concedes the US putt which would have been taken from similar distance by Spieth. The first hole of the 43rd Ryder Cup is halved.

12:17 PM

Garcia almost chips in!

Fabulous from Garcia as he misses by about 3 inches from the first cut off the green. Oh my! If that had dropped.

12:16 PM

Second shots

Spieth chips onto the green with ease from the fairway; Rahm overshoots green slightly from bunker.

12:09 PM

Garcia and Thomas tee off

Sergio Garcia, the greatest points winner in Ryder Cup history, lines up his tee shot....and - amid complete and impressive silence - smashes it into one of Whistling Straits' bunkers! Thomas settles, swings, and the crowd roar his tee shot into the heart of the fairway. Advantage America!


12:06 PM

The Ryder Cup starts now

Sergio Garcia standing over his ball on the first tee. Starter ready to give the nod. Three days of drama about to get under way. Don't. Go. Anywhere.

12:04 PM

Boos for Garcia and Rahm

The all-Spanish pairing enter the cauldron of the first tee. Garcia is smiling, but he can't quite hide the nerves. I'm sure he'd say he's just bouncing on his toes because of the cold. Here come Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth....deafening cheers break out into USA! USA! USA! chants.


11:57 AM

Conditions on Lake Michigan

Winds were high earlier this week, sometimes up to 30mph, but they have died down significantly overnight and are predicted to stay light all weekend, at about 7-10mph. The temperature right now is a little over 10C. It's fresh, but not frightening.

Meanwhile, the European captain and vice captain have just appeared around the first tee box, to widespread booing from the US-dominated crowd.


11:52 AM

Latest odds

If you're placing a bet now, you'll get 1/2 on the US to win the Ryder Cup and 13/5 on a European victory. As for the first match, Thomas and Spieth are 6/5 and Rahm-Garcia 5/4.

11:47 AM

Ian Poulter: I would love to take on Mickelson as captain in New York

Just a quarter of an hour before the Ryder cup finally gets going. Then about 45 minutes after that, Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy will be on the tee too. I can strongly suggest you spend these last few minutes of build-up reading Jamie Corrigan's interview with Poulter.

"Standing over the putt, knowing that if, when you hole it there is going to be uproar. I don’t want to be rude to anyone, or disrespect anything, but in those moments I cant help but bang my chest and whatever happens to my eyes. It’s pure passion. That rush of adrenaline that they say isn't supposed to help you in golf. It wouldn’t help me week to week. But in that scenario…”

11:36 AM

Players on the range

Half an hour to go before the first match and players are warming up on the range. Sergio Garcia, probably the Europe team's most reliable driver, is alongside his playing partner and compatriot Jon Rahm, one of this year's most formidable putters. Means that Garcia will probably take the first tee shot, giving Rahm the most birdie opportunities on the front nine.

Garcia and Rahm
Garcia and Rahm

11:30 AM

Predicted flashpoints

Telegraph Sport has three writers at Whistling Straits. We asked for their Ryder Cup predictions (the less said about their predicted scorelines, the better). Here's where they see the greatest potential for a bust-up.

Jamie Corrigan
The US fans will start drinking at 7.30am and then proceed to heckle and abuse for the next 10 hours. Europe insist they will not react, but at some stage someone will surely snap back at the morons.

Oliver Brown
Saturday fourballs. Intoxicated Saturday crowds at US Ryder Cups tend to be the most boisterous of the week, with the atmosphere at Hazeltine and Medinah teetering on the verge of ugliness. European players could face a torrid afternoon.

Simon Briggs
Sergio Garcia to hurl his club after a “patron” – a euphemism in this case for moron – shouts “Mashed potato!” as he is just completing his backswing.

11:20 AM

Born in the USA...

...by Bruce Springsteen, is being piped out of some rather tinny-sounding speakers on the first tee. Was only a matter of time, wasn't it?

11:18 AM

First three holes

A closer look at the opening three holes beside Lake Michigan. For our full course guide, see here.

364 yards, par four A series of bunkers to the left mean the bulk of players will hit a fairway metal and a short iron into the green, apart from the big hitters who may risk it all to try and reach it in one. Rough located to the right, which can make the hole longer but helps with the approach into the right of the green to reduce the threat of the deep bunkers located to the left and behind.

593 yards, par five The first of six holes registering more than 500 yards, this hole requires two long and accurate shots to have a chance at eagle. The tee shot must be down the left side of the long and slender fairway to avoid a blind second shot. Anyone who takes on the green in two will have to dodge the deep pot bunker 35 yards out.

181 yards, par three, Lake Michigan looms to the left of the green with a series of daunting dunes and bunkers between the water and short grass. A steep right-to-left green means pin position and winds will be pivotal.

11:11 AM

Justin Thomas will be first on the tee

Team USA have announced that it'll be Thomas with the nerve-wracking honour of teeing off the 43rd Ryder Cup at 7.05am local time (1.05pm UK time). The feeling is that, given the way the course falls, Thomas will also be making the approach shot on holes 3-8, which means super-putter Spieth takes the birdie opportunities.

This tactic makes even more sense given Thomas's 0.887 average strokes gained on approach shots this year so far. Spieth, for what it's worth, hasn't been in sensational putting form in 2021, with "only" 0.389 strokes gained on the green.

11:08 AM

Crowds start to arrive

Here's the scene on the ground in Wisconsin, where the gates at Whistling Straits opened a few minutes ago. About 3,000 fans will surround the first tee when the competition kicks off in about an hour.

Opening tee
Opening tee

11:01 AM

Ranking wars

The average world ranking of the 12 men picked to represent Europe is 30. The average world ranking of the American team is....nine. But if that sounds like it should be a concern, consider this from golf correspondent Jamie Corrigan.

Having four of the world's top five players did not do the United States any good in the 2010 Ryder Cup, nor did having three of the top four in 2018.

Now, after a 12-month delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, US captain Steve Stricker will discover if having eight of the top 10 can see his side regain the trophy in his home state of Wisconsin.

10:53 AM

US have not lost an opening session for six editions

As Jamie Corrigan writes this morning in his preview of today's play, despite prevailing in four of the six Ryder Cups held since the 2006 showdown, Europe have not won an opening session since the K Club.

If the European team are to buck that trend, much will surely rest on the anchor match, where Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter take on Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.

"It’s almost been a decade that Poults and I have been playing in this thing,” McIlroy said. “We’ve put points on the board for Europe which is really important but we've also had a lot of fun doing it. So we are going to go out there this week and enjoy ourselves and play our absolute hearts out."

McIlroy and Poulter
McIlroy and Poulter

10:43 AM

They say the darkest hour...

...is right before the dawn. Which is where we pick up live coverage of day one at Whistling Straits. The groundstaff are prepping the practice green under floodlights and players are beginning to arrive on the course. I promise you that this is an image of Rory McIlroy, who appears to have had his alarm set correctly this morning — unlike in previous Ryder Cups.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

10:28 AM

Rookie-heavy US strategy is risk-heavy too

Simon Briggs writes from Whistling Straits

Is history about to repeat itself in this rarely visited corner of America? The 2021 Ryder Cup feels like it could be 2008 all over again.

Wisconsin is no capital of fashion – its most famous attire being those infamous cheesehead hats – but Steve Stricker’s captaincy already feels as much of a throwback as the recent revival in 1980s-style crop-tops and stonewashed jeans.

Stricker has picked six rookies for his American team – the highest number for 13 years – in an attempt to overthrow Europe’s long-term dominance. Rugby fans might see this as a Will Carling moment: an underperforming team, which should really be making more of its wealth and resources, deciding to invest in youth.

Back at Valhalla in 2008, Stricker himself was one of the first-timers, along with Ben Curtis, Boo Weekly, Hunter Mahan, JB Holmes and the mercurial, fast-burning talent that was Anthony Kim. In the build-up, senior pro Phil Mickelson remarked that “I don’t feel as though there are any scars.”

Yesterday, the verdict from Tony Finau – not himself a rookie, but hardly a veteran either at 31 – sounded extremely familiar. “We have a team with no scar tissue,” Finau told reporters. “I see a change in culture. Hopefully we change the mould here moving forward, not just this Ryder Cup but many Ryder Cups to come.”

Those who don’t know their history, they say, are doomed to repeat it. So it would be interesting to know whether Stricker has spent much time raking over the ashes of 2008.

Anthony Kim, remember him?

Yes, Valhalla may have delivered a thumping 16 ½ - 11 ½ win for the Americans. But if you look at the bigger picture, it hardly delivered Ragnarok for the Europeans. Instead it was an aberration – their only loss in seven tournaments spanning 17 years. And much of the reason may lie in the mysterious disappearance of Kim.

The Korean American, then seen as Tiger Woods’s natural successor, made a compelling debut. On the course, Kim thrashed Sergio Garcia 5&4 in the matchplay. Around the fringes, he body-checked Ian Poulter in a symbolic territorial display. But he was racked by injuries, and left the tour in 2012 – aged just 26 – never to be seen again.

So what of this year’s crop? There is an obvious comparison between two luminous talents: Kim in 2008, and Collin Morikawa in 2021. Until Morikawa, no-one had ever made a Ryder Cup debut with two majors to their name. (Even Woods had only won a single US Masters before his own arrival at Valderrama in 1997, aged 21.)

As it happens, Morikawa – who won this summer’s Open championship at Sandwich – is another American golfer with Asian heritage, thanks to a Japanese father. But that is an incidental detail. The point is more that he is a generational phenomenon – golf’s very own Iron Man, thanks to his uncanny felicity with the mid-range clubs.

Morikawa has the potential to become the long-term scourge of Europe in the way that Woods and Kim both promised to be, but never actually were. Which makes his performances over the next few days all the more interesting. Many of Europe’s Dad’s Army (average age 34, as opposed to the USA’s 29) are unlikely to return in Rome two years hence. But their successors will thank them if they can keep an early lid on Morikawa.

New heavyweight rookies

Now we turn to two more heavyweights, in ability if not Ryder Cup experience. Both Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele were members of the famous “Class of 2011” – a group of half-a-dozen American players who dominated US college golf that year. (The same catchment also included two more seasoned members of the Whistling Straits group in Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.)

Now 29, Cantlay was held back by personal trauma – the death of his friend and caddie Chris Roth in a hit-and-run car accident five years ago – and a lingering back injury, but broke through in style this autumn by winning the FedEx Cup. Schauffele is two years younger, and recently lifted the Olympic title in Tokyo.

Stricker’s six first-timers also include three slightly less obvious picks. Both 25-year-old Scottie Scheffler and 28-year-old Daniel Berger bring the aggressive, long-driving, pin-seeking, birdie-heavy game that Stricker sees as the blueprint for team-golf success. Finally, there is PGA Tour stalwart Harris English. At, 32 English is the second-oldest American here after Dustin Johnson. But even he doesn’t prevent this being the youngest American team since the inaugural Ryder Cup in 1927.

With neither Woods nor Mickelson present for the first time since 1993, this is the perfect moment to introduce the hottest six-pack of rookies that the Ryder Cup has ever seen. Should the bookies be right, Morikawa and Co will carry the USA to another Valhalla-style triumph, and leave “softie” Stricker sobbing in delight. But if such garlanded talents should fail, it raises an awkward question. Where the hell do the USA go next?

09:00 AM

Team USA mission: make the captain cry

The four-time major champion Brooks Koepka wants to see his captain Steve Stricker cry at the end of this Ryder Cup week.

It was a comment that could easily be misinterpreted by European fans, particularly if Whistling Straits were to deliver an upset. But Koepka was referring to the tears of joy that will surely flow if Team USA reclaim the trophy on Sunday night.

The 54-year-old Stricker has a reputation for lachrymosity, having admitted as recently as 2018 – when he won his maiden title on the PGA Champions Tour – that he blubs every time he lifts a trophy.

And as Koepka told reporters yesterday, “It would be nice to see him cry. He has a big passion for the game and big passion for all of us as players, the vice-captains. He just truly cares a lot. He's a softie.”

In the same interview, Koepka was asked to describe the current state of his relationship with his rival and antagonist Bryson DeChambeau. Here was an opportunity to build bridges with a man he has previously scorned, but his response was revealing in its blandness.

“We are on the same team together,” said Koepka. “We've had dinner almost every night as a team. I got here on Monday. Everyone who is on our team is interacting and everybody is participating in conversations and doing everything we need to do.”

It was hardly the most ringing of endorsements.

Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau - REUTERS
Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau - REUTERS
'No scar tissue'

Meanwhile, another American player – Tony Finau – told reporters that he sees the six rookies in this USA team as a chance to change the European-dominated pattern of the Ryder Cup.

“Hopefully we change the mould here moving forward,” said Finau. “Not just this Ryder Cup but many Ryder Cups to come.

“We have a whole new team. We have a team with no scar tissue. I see a change in culture, I see a change in American teams. Hopefully the culture of us not getting the job done in The Ryder Cup in the last handful changes this week.”