GUIDONIA MONTICILIO, Italy – No one expected that after one day in the Ryder Cup, the United States would not have won any of the eight matches.
The European team completely dominated the first day of competition to hold a 6.5 to 1.5 lead after the first day of competition in Rome. The Europeans are now only eight points away from winning the championship.
This is the largest lead since 1979 in the tournament after two rounds of confrontations, and is equal to the 2004 figure.
Europe’s last defeat on European soil dates back to 1993. Since then, the team has not suffered a defeat against the Americans on home soil. Europe will have the opportunity to continue its successes.
The day started excellently for Europe, which won all its matches in the morning, in a mutual blows format. Four duels, four points.
And good news for Europe because in the history of the tournament, the team that swept the first round has never lost the event.
“We’ve been talking all week about fast starts… and that’s something Luke instilled in us,” Rory McIlroy said.
“We were ready to go from the first shot, as you can see by the way everyone played.”
Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton first took top 4’s and 3’s over Scotty Scheffler and Sam Burns, then European duo Viktor Hovland and rookie Ludwig Aberg also took top 4’s and 3’s over Max Homa and Brian Harman.
In the other two morning duels, Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka were victorious 2-1 over Rickie Fowler and Colin Morikawa, while McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood joined in defeating Xander Scheufele and Patrick Cantlay 2-1.
Then there were also amazing confrontations in the afternoon in Rome, with the formula “two balls, one better ball.”
The beginning of the second session was the case of Matt Fitzpatrick, who was harsh with Morikawa and Schauffele. Fitzpatrick chipped in five birdies and an eagle over the first six holes to give his team a five-hole lead.
Fitzpatrick and partner McIlroy finally got the upper hand without much trouble, winning 5 and 3.
Then in the other matches, the Europeans came back in style to get a few extra points.
First, Hovland and Hatton erased a two-hole deficit after 13 holes to snatch a tie from Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Before that, the American pair escaped holes 14 and 16, settling for a draw. Hovland made a notable birdie thanks to a dramatic 26-foot putt at the final flag to prevent the Americans from winning the match.
Then there was Jon Rahm. The Spaniard made eagles on the 16th hole and then the 18th hole to snatch a tie against Scotty Scheffler and Brooks Koepka. Rahm, teaming with Nicolai Hoggard, first sent his approach on the 16th hole into the back of the cup for eagle. He then made a stunning putt for eagle on the 18th hole to give Europe another par and add 0.5 points to his score.
In the fourth and final duel, Robert McIntyre and Justin Rose overcame a two-hole deficit with four holes to play to add half a point to the scoreboard. The European pair won three of the final four holes to get back up the slope. Rose made an important birdie at the 18th flag to win the final hole and tie the score.
In front of his European teammates, near the 18th green, Rose raised his arms in the air and began screaming in celebration.
– Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope)
September 29, 2023
Work will resume overnight for the second day. RDS will go live at 6am on Saturday to introduce the fourth session.
The first round of the day will be played on an alternating strike system, while the second match will again be a ‘two balls, best ball’ system.
Team Europe a result Team USA Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hutton Al-Nasr Euro (4&3) Scotty Scheffler and Sam Burns Viktor Hovland and Ludwig Aberg Al-Nasr Euro (4&3) Max Homa and Brian Harman Shane Lowry and Seb Straka Euro win (2&1) Rickie Fowler and Colin Morikawa Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood Euro win (2&1) Xander Scheufele and Patrick Cantlay Viktor Hovland and Terrell Hatton equality Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth Jon Rahm and Nicolai Hoggard equality Scotty Scheffler and Brooks Koepka Robert McIntyre and Justin Rose equality Max Homa and Wyndham Clark Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick Al-Nasr Euro (5&3) Colleen Morikawa and Xander Scheufele
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