Ryder Cup: Another day, another session of American dominance

USA won the second session of foursomes 3-1 to stretch their overall lead to 9-3

At this stage, an emergency cloning of Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia may be all that can save Europe.

Another day, another session of American dominance; and while a rules controversy - with Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger using indelicate language in verbally abusing two officials at one point on the 15th hole - brought some fire into proceedings, the USA won the second session of foursomes 3-1 to stretch their overall lead to 9-3.

It became the largest lead held by the USA since continental Europe came into being in the biennial match, back in 1979.

Only Rahm and Garcia managed to stay firm in the face of the continued onslaught from an American side intent on sucking the life out of Europe’s lingering hopes.


The new-look Spanish Armada came from three down through three holes to defeat Koepka and Berger by 3 and 1 in the top foursomes match, which proved to be the only win managed by Europe in their fight to stay in a Ryder Cup that has drifted further and further from reach through each session.

The standout shot in the match came with a 3-wood approach to four feet on the Par 5 16th. “Come on, you’re going to choke,” came a roar from the gallery as Garcia prepared to play the shot, letting his clubs provide the answer with a stunning shot in which he held his pose for what seemed an eternity.

Garcia’s win moved him to a career record 24th point in the Ryder Cup history but he was more focused on clinging to hope that somehow Europe could turn the match around in the second session of fourballs and Sunday’s 12 singles:

“We are not giving up. We’re going to fight until the end as hard as we can,” said the Spaniard.

In the second foursomes, Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa emerged as 2 and 1 winners over Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton in a match in which they led from the first hole.

Pádraig Harrington's decision to pair rookies Viktor Hovland and Bernd Wiesberger together looked like a master stroke when the Norwegian-Austrian combination went three up through six holes against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Bit by bit, a slow painful death ensued as the Americans got back to level and were one up playing the 18th where a horrid approach shot from Wiesberger was pulled into a marshy area. End game.

And, in the final foursomes, Xander Scahuffele and Patrick Cantlay signed for a 2 and 1 win over Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick in underscoring the USA's superiority.

With a seemingly insurmountable deficit to make up, Garcia refused to be drawn on how poorly many European players were playing. “Everyone is trying as hard as they can. Sometimes you don’t play as well and sometimes you get outplayed. It’s as simple as that.”

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times