Ryder Cup: Europe Battles Back in Friday Four-Ball
After getting swept in the morning foursome matches, the European Ryder Cup team made up some ground in the afternoon four-ball session.
After a sweep in the morning session, Team USA headed into afternoon four-ball with a 4-0 lead in the Ryder Cup (they need 14.5 points to win back the Cup). For the afternoon session, the U.S. maintained their starting and anchor pairs while changing the middle duos. The European team took a different approach, keeping only their starting pair while mixing up the rest of the pairings.
It proved to be a beneficial move for the European team, as they won three of the four matches to make up some ground. They now trail 5-3 heading into Saturday.
The matchups went out in the order listed below:
1st Foursome: (U.S.) Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed vs. (Europe) Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson
2nd Foursome: (U.S.) J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore vs. (Europe) Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello
3rd Foursome: (U.S.) Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka vs. (Europe) Martin Kaymer and Danny Willett
4th Foursome: (U.S.) Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar vs. (Europe) Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters
Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose dominated in their afternoon rematch with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed.
After a disappointing start to their Ryder Cup experience, Stenson and Rose battled back in the afternoon four-ball session to collect a point for the European team. The undefeated U.S. duo finally went down, falling to the Europeans 5 & 4.
Stenson and Rose struggled in the morning as Speith and Reed had control for the entire match. The afternoon provided a stark contrast, however, as Stenson and Rose controlled the entire match from the beginning.
It seemed like a continuation of the morning session when the US duo went 1-up after the first hole, but the European tandem squared the match on the par 3 fourth hole. Back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth holes gave Rose and Stenson a 2-up lead, and they never gave it up — the duo won the 12th, 13th and 14th holes to bring the match to a close and earn the first point for Team Europe.
Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello hung on for another European victory.
It was all Europe through the first nine holes of this match, with Spaniards Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello getting off to a hot start. However, J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore were not going to go down quietly, mounting a late rally before coming up just short. In the end, Garcia and Cabrera Bello earned a 3 & 2 victory.
The European duo’s hot start on the front nine included a birdie on the first hole to take an early 1-up lead. They halved the next three before adding birdies on the fifth and sixth holes to build a 3-up lead. Another birdie on the ninth hole stretched the margin to four, where it stayed until the U.S. pair finally got on the board. Holmes and Moore birdied the 14th and 15th holes to close the gap to two. However, their late surge would end on the next hole, as Garcia and Cabrera-Bello closed it out with a birdie to win both the hole and the match.
Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka captured the lone point for the U.S. in the afternoon session.
It turned out to be a less than impressive afternoon session for the U.S., but Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka proved to be a bright spot. Just as Stenson and Rose dominated their match, this American pair did the same by defeating Martin Kaymer and Danny Willet 5 & 4.
The U.S. dominated this match, building a 2-up lead after just three holes. The Europeans never came close. Birdies on the sixth and eighth holes brought the Americans to 4-up before Kaymer and Willet finally got on the board on the ninth. That was the only hole they won — Snedeker and Koepka responded by winning the next two holes to put the match out of reach and pick up the fifth point for the U.S.
Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters earned the final win of the afternoon session over DJ and Kuchar.
McIlroy and Pieters dominated the front nine of their match, with the scoring coming in bunches. However, they weren’t out of the woods yet, as DJ and Kuchar managed to battle back on the second nine to make the match a little closer. Ultimately, they couldn’t quite pull it out, and the European team picked up another point for a 3 & 2 win.
The front nine saw a big lead for McIlroy and Pieters as they scored in five of the nine holes. Match that up with the U.S. duo’s lone hole win, and the result was a 4-up lead for the European team as the pairings made the turn. The final nine holes were a little more friendly to DJ and Kuchar, who captured three holes on the back. However, McIlroy and Pieters kept battling to retain their lead, winning the 13th hole and eventually clinching the match on the 16th.
Who do you think will perform better tomorrow: Team USA or Team Europe? Let us know in the comments, and keep it here at Pro Golf Now for more Ryder Cup updates.