Europe rolled into the Saturday afternoon sessions at the Ryder Cup with momentum and numbers, leading 8-4 after a strong morning fourball run. If the United States was going to have any hope, it would have to come in the afternoon foursome (alternating shot) session, a format the U.S. has had some trouble with, to put it politely. Here’s how everything shook out for Team Blue and Team Red on Saturday afternoon.
Molinari & Fleetwood def. Woods & DeChambeau, 5&4
Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood continued their astonishing run, winning their fourth match together and defeating Woods for the third time in this Ryder Cup. This match wasn’t ever close; Tiger Woods just isn’t playing well in a team format, and Bryson DeChambeau has appeared overmatched in his own efforts. If Europe should win this, and it’s looking highly favorable for them, Molinari and Fleetwood can hold the trophy high together.
Current overall score: Europe 9, USA 4.
Rose & Stenson def. Koepka & Johnson, 2&1
The pairing of two of the toughest, and coolest, players on Tour seemed like it could pay dividends, and when Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson took an early lead, it appeared that the two workout bros could change the tide. But Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson drained key putt after key putt, and held off several late charges from the Americans to preserve another crucial point.
Current overall score: Europe 10, USA 4
Watson & Simpson def. Garcia & Noren, 3&2
Who expected this? What an impressive run from Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, neither of whom was predicted to play a huge role on this particular squad. Sergio Garcia couldn’t replicate the magic of his early-morning run, and rookie Alex Noren wasn’t able to carry Garcia enough to even up the match. This was a crucial win for the United States from an unexpected quarter.
Current overall score: Europe 10, USA 5
Spieth & Thomas def. Poulter & McIlroy, 4&3
This was exactly what the United States needed to close out the day. Jordan Spieth and the new Captain America, Justin Thomas, absolutely broke two of Europe’s Ryder Cup stalwarts in Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy. The Europeans got up 2 after just two holes, but from there on out, it was all America, as the United States reeled off six hole wins and closed out the match on the 15th hole. Spieth and Thomas have gone 3-1 in matches this week, the lone real bright spot in the American lineup to date.
Current overall score: Europe 10, USA 6
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