A historical disgrace to America
The hosts could not have got off to a better start. Europe’s best golfers didn’t give their American opponents a chance at the start of the Ryder Cup. Leadership and how it evolved is deeply embedded in history.
DEuropean golfers are off to a perfect start in the Ryder Cup and have a great chance of reclaiming the trophy after the first four tournaments. The Americans beat Europe 19-9 at home two years ago. It is no longer possible.
On the first morning in Rome, European captain Luke Donald’s men won all four of their matches in somewhat better fashion than the United States. In this format, two players compete against each other, each hitting the ball as a team. Whoever needs the fewest strokes gets a point.
A 4-0 win after the first session has historic dimensions; Europe has never had a good start to the Ryder Cup. The Americans last accomplished the feat in 2016 with a time of 17:11. However, on Friday morning they were as far from such a show as Rome was from Hazeltine, Minnesota. It is also remarkable that the Americans have never been in the lead in any competition at any time. The leaderboard always only shows European blue, not American red.
Donald lined up three of his best players – John Rahm, Victor Hovland and Rory McIlroy – in three different pairings, betting on, among others, Austrian Sepp Straka and 23-year-old Swede Ludwig Aberg. This is a mixture of experience and inexperience.
American stars postponed casting in the series
On the one hand, because the Europeans sometimes played from another planet — Hovland chipped the ball for birdie on the first hole, and Rahm managed a hole-in-one a short time later. On the other hand, because many Americans around world number one Scotty Scheffler are completely derailed. The American stars tended to line up balls into the water or defer to deep rough and one-handed drilling short putts.
Once again it became clear that the excitement of the Ryder Cup is different from that of the average golfer. The 14th hole was emblematic of this when Americans Patrick Cantley and Colin Morikawa literally threw away a potential hole-winner with a three-putt from a few meters out.
In general, the matches were decided early on, not only one-sided, amid jeers and sometimes incredulous looks from European fans; The 18th and final hole, just east of the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, was largely unvisited. The Eternal City. Rahm and Hutton shook hands with their opponents Scheffler and Burns on the 15th green. A few minutes later, the game between Scandinavians Hovland and Aberg ended here. In total, the Europeans won 22 holes in the session, while the Americans only won ten.
In the afternoon we continued with four more four-a-side games, this time in fourball format. Here both players of a team play until their own ball falls into the hole. The best result will be calculated. If it’s better than your opponent, you get a point.
USA captain Zach Johnson responded to the humiliation by bringing in four players from his 12-man squad who had sat out in the morning. They now had to make sure the dream of a first American victory since 1993 didn’t crumble too quickly. Both Europeans used all the players they had in reserve in the morning in the afternoon.
Results from the morning
- Jon Rahm/Tyrrell Hutton – Scotty Scheffler/Sam Burns 4&3 (Four points up, three holes to play)
- Victor Hovland/Ludwig Aberg – Max Homma/Brian Harman 4&3
- Shane Lowry/Sep Straka – Rickie Fowler/Colin Morikawa 2&1
- Rory McIlroy/Tommy Fleetwood – Patrick Cantlay/Sander Schaffel 2&1
- Victor Howland / Tyrell Hutton – Justin Thomas / Jordan Spieth
- Jon Rahm/Nikolai Hojgaard – Scotty Scheffler/Brooks Koepka
- Robert MacIntyre/Justin Rose – Max Homa/Wyndham Clarke
- Rory McIlroy / Matt Fitzpatrick – Sander Schaffel / Colin Morikawa
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