The Europeans, fresh from a clean sweep at the hands of Team USA in morning foursomes at Hazeltine, ended the day by taking the momentum into Saturday’s second session after taking three of four afternoon fourball matches.
Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose exacted revenge on Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth, 3&2 winners on Friday morning, when they put the first blue points on the board with a 5&4 drubbing of the American power duo.
Gold medal.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 30, 2016
Ryder Cup point.
A dynamic duo. https://t.co/cjdxxOabaQ
As it goes in Ryder Cup competition, it was mostly about the flat stick, though Stenson’s irons played a leading role in his and Rose’s rebound. While Reed and Spieth putted the eyes out of the balls in the first morning contest, the Euros returned the favor later on.
"We played great this morning [but] we didn’t make any putts," Rose, who took home an Olympic gold medal from Rio, said after afternoon glory.
"We missed a couple of putts and that’s why we lost," said the reigning British Open champ, who missed a hole-in-one by inches on the par-3 eighth hole.
Of course it wasn’t all lollipops and roses for the 40-year-old Swede, who won Olympic silver himself and may have been able to secure the gold in Rio if club-throwing had been part of the program.
Stenson club throw is great! pic.twitter.com/nfOhzZv5bG— Michael Shamburger (@mshamburger1) September 30, 2016
In other action, Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters put their early 1-down loss to Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler in the rear-view by besting the Americans’ morning stars, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar, 3&2. McIlroy seems to have resolved his putting woes, since it was his lengthy walk-off eagle putt on the 16th hole that sealed the deal.
Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello dusted J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore, 3&2, while Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka grabbed the only fourball point for the U.S. with a 5&4 pasting of Martin Kaymer and beleaguered Danny Willett.
With the three points in the blue column, Europe rolls into Saturday morning’s foursomes down just 5-3. Here are the full results from Day 1.
8:35 a.m.: Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth & Patrick Reed (USA) -- USA WINS, 3&2
8:50 a.m.: Phil Mickelson & Rickie Fowler (USA) vs. Rory McIlroy & Andy Sullivan (EUR) -- USA WINS, 1-UP
9:05 a.m.: Sergio Garcia & Martin Kaymer (EUR) vs. Jimmy Walker & Zach Johnson (USA) -- USA WINS, 4&2
9:20 a.m.: Dustin Johnson & Matt Kuchar (USA) vs. Thomas Pieters & Lee Westwood (EUR) -- USA WINS, 5&4
1:30 p.m.: Jordan Spieth & Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Henrik Stenson & Justin Rose (EUR) -- EUROPE WINS, 5&4
1:45 p.m.: Ryan Moore & J.B. Holmes (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia & Rafa Cabrera-Bello (EUR) -- EUROPE WINS, 3&2
2 p.m.: Brandt Snedeker & Brooks Koepka (USA) vs. Martin Kaymer & Danny Willett (EUR) -- USA WINS, 5&4
2:15 p.m.: Dustin Johnson & Matt Kuchar (USA) vs. Rory McIlroy & Thomas Pieters (EUR) -- EUROPE WINS, 3&2