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Europe Wins Foursomes For First Time To Start Ryder Cup

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The United States team’s only saving grace following Friday’s opening round of the 44th Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club is that the majority of golf fans back home likely didn’t watch its embarrassing defeat by the European squad.

For the first time in Ryder Cup history, the Europeans went 4-0 in the Friday morning session after winning four foursomes (alternate-shot) matches. The European team, which is attempting to recapture the trophy after losing 19-9 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in 2021, completely dominated the match. In none of the early games, the United States was able to maintain a lead.

The European team has only gone undefeated in a session four times overall. The European team hasn’t led after the first session since 2006, so that’s a first. In that year, at the K Club in Straffan, Ireland, it won the Ryder Cup 1812-912.

With 24 matches remaining, the American team, which is attempting to break a 30-year dry spell in Ryder Cups played outside of the United States, has a lot of work to do. The American team needs 14 points to keep the trophy; the European squad needs 1412 points to reclaim it.

The first point for Europe was recorded by Tyrrell Hatton and Jon Rahm of England, who defeated Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns of the United States 4-and-3.

On the third hole, Rahm and Hatton took over control of the top match and never let go. On the third, a par-4 hole, Rahm sank a 12-foot birdie putt to take the lead. On the par-4 fifth hole, he sank another 4-foot birdie attempt. Rahm’s ball stopped 2 feet from the hole after hitting the pin on the par-3 seventh hole.

The Europeans made a birdie on the 11th and an eagle on the 12th, and the match was all but over. Scheffler and Burns, who are close friends, fell to 0-3-1 when playing together in international competition. Scheffler and Burns went 0-2-1 as a tandem at the Presidents Cup in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2022. Open Championship winners Brian Harman and Max Merritt.

The current FedEx Cup champion from Norway, Hovland, set the tone on the opening hole. Hovland chipped in from on the green and converted a 9-footer for birdie to win the hole after Aberg mishit his second ball, which landed around 35 feet to the right of the pin. Hovland sank a 9-foot birdie putt on the following hole to take a two-up lead.

The next two holes were won by Harman and Homa to square the match, but the Europeans didn’t give up easily. Aberg’s chip on hole no. 4 lipped out of the hole, while Hovland’s chip on hole no. 3 bounced off the pin. The Americans were matched in that manner.

Aberg, a former Texas Tech star and Ryder Cup rookie, made birdie putts of 12 feet on holes 6 and 9 to go three up.

Rickie Fowler, a veteran of the U.S. Ryder Cup, missed an 8-foot putt that would have won the hole in the third match. Fowler and Collin Morikawa finished the round in a similar manner, losing 2 and 1 against Lowry and Sepp Straka of Austria.

After four holes, the European team was two ahead. They then won holes Nos. 7 through 9, putting them four up. Late in the game, Fowler and Morikawa battled back to win a few holes, but it wasn’t enough.

Even the usually dependable duo of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele couldn’t do much on Friday as they fell 2 and 1 to Tommy Fleetwood of England and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland. The American team trailed by one at the halfway point and by two after 11 holes. With Schauffele’s 12-foot birdie putt on hole No. 14, the Americans drew within one. Schauffele missed a 4-footer for par on the following hole. The European team won the hole, putting them two up in the contest.

On Friday, four four-ball (best ball) matches will resume the game. At 6:25 a.m. ET, Hovland and Hatton take on Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas; Scheffler and Brooks Koepka play Rahm and Nicolai Hojgaard; Homa and U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark play Robert MacIntyre and Justin Rose; and Morikawa and Schauffele play Rory and Matt Fitzpatrick at 7:10 a.m. ET.

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