It was a very bad afternoon for the American Ryder Cup team, which lost all four matches for the first time in history on Friday afternoon, reports USA Today.
After winning the opening foursomes 3-1 in the morning session, things looked very different for the Americans in the afternoon session as the Europeans dominated in their matches against their rivals from across the Atlantic. With the first session sweep since 1989, Europe now leads the Ryder Cup 5-3 at the end of the first day.
Sergio Garcia improved his foursome record to 10-3-3 as he managed a win of five over Phil Mickelson. The other win of five was to Francesco Molinari — who played in the morning session as well — beating Justin Thomas in the afternoon session.
Garcia was only added to the team as a captain’s pick by Thomas Bjorn, and his win now makes Bjorn look like a genius after getting some initial criticism for choosing the veteran to go for his ninth Ryder Cup performance.
While the other two wins in those pairs weren’t blowouts by a score of five, they yet followed closely behind. Alex Noren defeated Bryson DeChambeau by four. Tommy Fleetwood followed suit, managing a win by a large margin to continue an afternoon of pain for the United States team.
The loss for Mickelson was especially damaging as he continued his poor run in fourball play, losing for the 21st time — the most losses attributed to any American in tournament history.
Things started tight for the Mickelson-DeChambeau pairing, but it quickly went wrong as Garcia and Noren went on to win six of the next seven holes — taking a six-stroke lead at the halfway mark of the course. From there the two Europeans simply cruised to victories which would give the team a crucial two-point lead.
In the morning, things were very different. The U.S. team won three of the four matches — with Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau forcing the European pair of Josh Rose and Jon Rahm to concede in the first match.
The only Americans to lose in the opening foursomes was the pair of Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods, who lost a back-and-forth match to Molinari and Fleetwood, three and one respectively. Woods managed two straight birdies to put the Americans on the verge of a sweep in the morning session — but the European pair came back to win and would go on to reinforce this position in the afternoon session.
American captain Jim Furyk will have plenty of work to do back at the hotel this evening, as he looks to turn things around and get his team its first win on foreign soil since 1993.