SATURDAY MORNING FOURSOMES
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Facing a 6-2 deficit coming into Saturday’s play Padraig Harrington’s European team was looking to stop the bleeding and begin an attempted comeback while Steve Stricker’s Americans were hoping to show no mercy and increase a lead.
Unfortunately for Europe, it was the latter.
Despite an incredible comeback by the Spanish duo of world No.1 Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia in the opening match, the 43rd Ryder Cup is trending towards a rout after the third consecutive 3-1 session win lifted the U.S. team to what must be considered an insurmountable 9-3 lead.
Since continental Europe was added to the Cup in 1979 the U.S. has never held such a dominant lead through three sessions and the new guard is well and truly on their way. With eight players under 30 and six Ryder Cup rookies the U.S. is sending a devastating message.
Stricker expects there to be no let up in the afternoon session.
“The plan is just keep building on that lead. Just keep trying to increase that lead. We got them down a little bit, and our goal is to continue that and continue that momentum,” Stricker said.
“And our guys are fired up still. They’re excited. They’re fired up to get out here. The crowd is unbelievable. We’ve got a great day, a little chill in the air, and it’s all good.”
Match 1: Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia, EUR, def. Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger USA, 3 and 1
Recap: An incredible lead off match where the Spanish resistance dropped the first three holes and things looked more than bleak for the European team in general before an incredible turnaround. Rahm and Garcia lifted their game exponentially and secured the sixth and eighth holes before Garcia chipped in expertly on the ninth to flip the script completely. The hole out came with the U.S. looking at a birdie putt, that Berger subsequently missed, and it was tied at the turn. A lovely wedge into the par-3 12th from Rahm set up a 7-foot birdie for Garcia and the Europeans grabbed a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. They doubled it at the 13th but the lead was just one soon after. A contentious ruling on the 15th hole went against the Americans before Rahm and Garcia produced two incredible shots on the par-5 16th that resulted in a conceded eagle and capped off an incredible comeback win.
Quotes: SERGIO GARCIA: “We are not giving up. We’re going to fight until the end as hard as we can. Hopefully we have a good afternoon this afternoon and see what happens.
BROOKS KOEPKA: “They got off to a bad start but probably 7 through 13 probably killed us. They chip-in on 9. We three-putt 7. Just one of those things, they played really well.”
Score at match’s conclusion: USA 6, EUR 3