photo credit: Alastair Grant, Associated Press
Team Europe secured the return of the 2018 Ryder Cup at France’s Le Golf National following an excellent showing against Team USA. The Americans were highly touted going into the match and featured 3 of golf’s top-5 ranked players in the world. However, the strong home course advantage meant Europe extended its unbeaten streak in Ryder Cups played in Europe to 6. The following is a recap of the weekend of international golf action.
Americans started the day strong during the day’s first fourball matches. The Americans won 3 of 4 matches, with only the team of Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods failing to defeat their opposition. The solitary European win came from the team of Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood.
The afternoon games of foursomes immediately reversed Europe’s fortunes as they swept all 4 matches. The team of Molinari and Fleetwood again proved deadly, knocking off the heavily favored team of childhood friends Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Molinari and Fleetwood would be the only golfers to claim a 2-0-0 record at the end of the first day of action.
With the score USA 3 Europe 4, Team USA looked to rally on the second day’s round of fourball. However, Europe would continue their great performance by picking up 3 of the matches, including another win for the Molinari and Fleetwood pairing over “Captain America” Patrick Reed and partner Tiger Woods. Americans Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth picked up the sole American victory 2 & 1 over Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm.
Honors were split on the afternoon foursomes matches with Europe and America each recording 2 wins. The team of Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson picked up their first points of the tournament against Sergio Garcia and Alexander Noren. The team of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth recorded their second win of the day as well. On the European side, the team of Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose achieved their second win of the tournament while Molinari and Fleetwood again proved too much for the Americans in their 4th straight victory.
Sunday’s Single Matches
14 singles matches remained as America looked to rally from a 4 point deficit. The Americans started strong, rallying to a score of 9½ to 10½ after the first 4 matches. However, this was as close as America would come to closing the gap. Of the remaining matches, only Patrick Reed was able to avoid defeat for the Americans when he defeated Tyrrell Hatton. Standout performer Francesco Molinari defeated living legend Phil Mickelson 4 & 2 to maintain a perfect 5-0-0 record. Outside of Molinari, Tommy Fleetwood took 4 points out of a possible 5 while Henrik Stenson also maintained a 100% record during his 3 matches. For the Americans, only Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth managed more than 2 points. Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods all ended the tournament without a single point.