Capsules from Saturday’s matches at the Ryder Cup:
Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, Europe, def. Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau, United States, 2 and 1.
Koepka and Finau trailed the entire way for the second straight fourballs session, only this time they didn’t recover. McIlroy got up-and-down from a bunker on the par-5 third hole for a lead Europe never relinquished, and he holed a 15-foot birdie putt for an unlikely halve when Finau holed a bunker shot on No. 5. McIlroy holed a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 8 for a 4-up lead. The Americans tried to stage a rally, winning three straight holes to trim the deficit to 1 down. On the 17th, Garcia holed a 25-foot birdie putt, and Koepka missed his attempt from 15 feet to give Europe the first point of the morning.
Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton, Europe, def. Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler, United States, 3 and 2.
The Americans gave a hole when both hit into the water at different times on the opening hole. Casey started making birdies, and the Americans couldn’t keep up. Casey and Hatton made nine birdies over 16 holes, none bigger than Casey’s birdie on the par-5 14th. That stretched the lead to 3 up with four to play. Johnson kept the match alive by chipping in for par on the 15th hole, but they halved the next two holes with pars.
Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood, Europe, def. Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed, United States, 4 and 3.
“Moliwood” won their third straight match without ever getting to the 18th green, and it was the second time at Le Golf National that Woods and Reed were their victims. For the most part, this was Europe against Woods, as Reed continually took himself out of the hole with tee shots in the water, the rough and out-of-bounds on one hole. Woods squared the match with a birdie on No. 10, and then Molinari made three straight birdies for a 3-up lead. On the 15th, Reed went from the rough to the water, and Woods had to lay up to have any chance to extend the match. He missed a par putt for another win by Europe’s best team this week.
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, United States, vs. Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm, Europe.
This was tight from the start, and Europe took the first lead when Poulter made a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 7. Spieth answered with a tee shot to 4 feet for birdie on the par-3 eighth, and Spieth gave the Americans the lead again with his third birdie on a par 3 at No. 11. Thomas took over from there. He birdied the 12th for a 2-up lead, birdied the 14th to stay 2 up and made a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th to stay 1 up after Poulter made his from the same distance. The match ended on No. 17 when Thomas made a 10-foot birdie putt.
Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, Europe, def. Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, United States, 2 and 1.
The Americans lost an early lead by not even finishing the fourth hole because of wild shots. Europe took its first lead when Johnson hit a pedestrian chip and Koepka missed a 7-foot par putt, and the Americans never caught up. Johnson and Koepka combined to three-putt the 10th to fall 2 down, and this became the most important match of the afternoon when the rest of them were lopsided. Koepka delivered a bold shot to the 15th over the water to 2 feet to go 1 down. On the par-3 16th, with Europe in trouble off the tee, Stenson rescued them with an 8-foot par save. Stenson made a 10-footer for par on the 17th that kept it from going down the 18th after Johnson chipped long and Koepka missed the putt.
Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, United States, def. Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren, Europe, 3 and 2.
The match had the tone of being ugly early when they halved the second hole with a triple bogey, both teams hitting into the water and Noren flubbing a chip on the par 3. The rest of the match was clean, and the Americans played exceptionally well to win their first Ryder Cup match together since Medinah in 2012. The Europeans gave away the seventh hole with a double bogey, Simpson made a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 8 for a 4-up lead, and Simpson hit hybrid after a huge drive by Watson on the par-5 14th to 6 feet for only the second eagle of the matches. Simpson made one last putt to thwart European hopes for a rally on the 16th.
Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood, Europe, def. Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau, United States, 5 and 4.
Molinari and Fleetwood became the first European tandem to go 4-0 in team matches, and this one wasn’t close. Molinari drove into the water on the par-5 third, and DeChambeau followed him into the water, leading to bogey and a 2-down deficit. The Americans gave away the sixth and eighth holes with bogeys, and Fleetwood’s birdie putt on the par-5 ninth gave Europe a 5-up lead. The Americans didn’t make a birdie until the 10th hole, won back-to-back holes, only for Fleetwood to make another birdie to restore the lead to 4 up. Molinari made the final birdie. Europe played bogey-free in foursomes.
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, United States, def. Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy, Europe, 5 and 4.
The Americans lost the first two holes with bogeys, and McIlroy halved the third hole with a 12-foot birdie putt. He mixed it up with a fan, shouting to him, “Can I putt? I can putt?” as he pounded his chest. On the next hole, McIlroy pounded a drive out of play and they lost the hole with a triple bogey. Starting with the fourth hole, Spieth and Thomas wound up winning four of the next five holes, only one of them with a birdie. Thomas made birdie on the 11th for a 3-up lead, and Spieth rolled in a birdie two holes later to make the outcome inevitable.
Source: The Associated Press