Ryder Cup 2018
Sep 28th, 2018
Ryder Cup Morning four balls – the verdict
As USA take early control
Words: Tim Southwell
Oh dear. Oh, very dear. Maybe this is the best USA team ever after all.
For those of us at the crack of early to see the first knockings in Paris, we were in for a bit of a jolt. European-wise, that is. The United States romped into a 3-1 lead after the morning fourballs, with only Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood managing to put anything on the board for Europe.
Their well-earned point against Tiger and Patrick Reed (Captain America looked unusually subdued to day) came in the morning's final match after Europe had fairly capitulated elsewhere.
Rory McIlroy, especially, could not get going and only a staunch performance by his rookie partner Thorbjorn Olesen kept things vaguely repectable as they went down 4&2 to Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler. Just how Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau came from two down to steal a point from Justin Rose and Jon Rahm on the 18th is anyone's guess.
Paul Casey and Tyrell Hatton were unfortunate to lose their match against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth in a low scoring affair. Having gone three down early on, Hatton & Casey fought back to square the match with five holes to go, but Hatton's birdie putt at the 18th slipped by the hole and with it their chances of a half.
Tommy Fleetwood was Europe's best performer and he played some scintilating shots in his first every Ryder Cup match. Abely abbetted by Open champion Francesco Molinari, Fleetwood's display marks him out as a potential Ryder Cup legend in the making.
This golf course is an absolute dream for Ryder Cup fans, with the final four holes offering all manner of scenarios. Water is everywhere and I lost count of the amount of players who found it under the pressure of this epic drama. If you're good enough to avoid the water, you better get your ball on the fairway. Birdie is not possible from the depths on Le Golf National's punishing rough.
Two years ago at Hazeltine, the US seized a 4-0 lead in the first session, and we know that ended badlty for the European team. One point is better than none.
The fight back starts here...