Hard blow or severe corrective for Europe, whatever they prefer, but it is what the scoreboard dictates after the first day of Ryder cup in the Whistling Straits field. USA dominated the foursomes 3-1 and the fourballs (3-1) putting on the ropes (6-2 at the end of the day) the men of Padraig Harrington, who need a real crush this Saturday and Sunday in the singles to reverse a situation that has not been experienced in the ranks of Europe since the early 80s.
Fully plugged into the greens, the Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, Bryson DeChambeau and even a reborn Justin thomas, one by one the points on the American side fell. A team that was a true roller and still counted in its ranks with six rookies but with its 12 players in the top 25 of the world rankings, dealt a very hard blow in both the foursomes and the fourballs.
He did not get rid of the American push or the world No. 1 Jon rahm, bright with Sergio garcia winning his point (the only one) in the morning foursomes, and huge at the end of the afternoon session starting half a valuable point in the fourballs, on the same 18th hole, forming a pair with Tyrrell hatton. The Englishman holed his birdie option on the last hole and the European pair ended up adding a half point with which almost nobody counted, so Rahm ended the day undefeated after a duel in which DeChambeau, without going any further, hit a drive of 380 meters in hole 5 to finish winning the hole with an eagle-. Leave the data there.
This was a very close match, with maximum advantages of a hole for both and which was reached with one up for DeChambeau (quite a show with the drive in hand looking for distance) and Scheffler to the 18th tee. The Europeans continued fighting, Rahm narrowly missed the birdie, which Hatton did get. Goodness. The last match, Thomas-Cantlay against Fleetwood-Hovland, also reached 18. The Europeans came to dominate by three up into the second nine holes but saw the Americans tie them on the 16th hole thanks to the resurgence of former world No. 1 Thomas. At the end, a draw and a half point for each pair.
A Rahm who, it must be said, threw the team on his back but it was not enough to close the gap on the scoreboard. As the saying goes, ‘the drive gives glory and the putt the victory’. The American players, much more plugged in the greens of the Whistling Straits course, putting joints from all sides while the Europeans had a hard time finding the hole to hole half, opened an important but not definitive gap. There are 20 points at stake and the day of this Saturday will be decisive.
This Friday, the first time that Rahm and Sergio García played together in the Ryder Cup and did it in the foursome against the theoretical best American couple. Jon and Sergio did not fail in the forecast and added the first point, and ultimately the only one, for Europe by 3 and 1 against Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. The Hispanic duo could only save the European honor with the other three duels of the morning resolved in a clear way for the Americans and thus the morning foursomes day ended 3-1 in favor of the USA team. The Castellón, record points in the Ryder with 22.5, therefore added one more and with this victory equaled the 23 games won by the British Nick Faldo.
FIRST WORKING DAY
Sergio García and Jon Rahm (Europe) beat
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth (USA) 3 and 1
Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa (USA) win
to Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland (Europe) 3 and 2
Brooks Koepka and Danie Berger (USA) beat
Lee Westwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eur) 2 and 1
Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay (USA) a
Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter (Eur) 5 and 3
TOTAL FOURSOMES: USA-Europe, 3-1
Dustin Johnson and X. Schauffele (USA) beat
Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger (Europe) 2 and 1
B. DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler (USA)
tied with Jon Rahm and T. Hatton (Europe)
Tony Finau and Harris English (USA) beat
Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry (Europe) 4 and 3
Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland (Europe) tie
with J. Thomas and P. Cantlay (USA)
TOTAL FOURBALLS: USA-Europe, 3-1
FIRST DAY TOTAL: USA-Europe, 6-2