Live blog: 2018 Ryder Cup, Friday four-balls

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Live blog: 2018 Ryder Cup, Friday four-balls

2018 Ryder Cup

Live blog: 2018 Ryder Cup, Friday four-balls

After much anticipation, the 2018 Ryder Cup has finally arrived.

The U.S. hasn’t won a Ryder Cup on foreign soil in 25 years, but the Americans will look to change that at Le Golf National near Paris. The Europeans will try to maintain its dominance at home with five rookies.

The action gets started Friday morning at 2:10 a.m. Eastern with four four-ball matches, and we’ll track each match, hole by hole:

Match 4 – Hole No. 17: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Woods and Reed both failed to hit the green at the par 4 while Molinari and Fleetwood both found the surface. Neither Woods nor Reed could pitch in. From there, it was just a formality. Molinari, needing two putts to close out the match, drained a 15-footer for birdie to close out in style.

Europe wins, 3 and 1

Match 3 – Hole No. 18: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

On a water-shrouded approach to this par 4 green, Thomas falls victim as he flails one in the hazard. But Spieth finds the green and lags to 3 feet for par. Hatton had a 25-footer for birdie to win the hole and halve the match, but his putt drifted right. Spieth cleaned up his par putt to square the hole and win the match.

U.S. wins, 1 up

Match 4 – Hole No. 16: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Fleetwood’s putter might decide this match. Fleetwood and Molinari both hit approaches to 25 feet while Reed hit one 15 feet under the hole (Woods went in the water). Fleetwood then drained the long putt, giving a spirited reaction. Reed couldn’t match, meaning the Euros won the hole and are now 2 up.

Europe leads, 2 up thru 16

Match 4 – Hole No. 15: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Everyone played a messy hole here except Fleetwood. Woods hit into the rough and had to lay up, while Reed and Molinari both hit their approaches from the fairway in the water. Woods wedged his third at the par 4 to 5 feet, but Fleetwood simply hit his fairway approach on the fringe 15 feet left of the flag. He then drained the putt to win the hole and give his team the lead.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 15

Match 3 – Hole No. 17: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Thomas hits a beautiful approach on this par 4 about 8 feet right of the flag. He had that birdie putt to win the hole and the match, but it slid off to the right. Casey still had to roll in a 4-footer for par to halve the hole and extend, and he did just that.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 17

Match 1 – Hole No. 18: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Rose hits a good drive and turns around to shush the American fans. However, his approach into the green goes just long and finds the water. Rahm has to lay up and can only wedge to 15 feet. Finau has a very long birdie, but Koepka is about 25 feet away. Koepka lags close for a conceded par. Now, it’s Rahm’s turn. It doesn’t fall and the Americans steal a point here.

U.S. wins, 1 up

Match 3 – Hole No. 16: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

A pretty ho-hum hole, as pars halve this one. Casey had a 20-footer for birdie to win the hole but missed to the right.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 16

Match 4 – Hole No. 14: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Reed had 20 feet for birdie at this par 5, but this one just slid off to the right at the end. That left Fleetwood with a 6-footer for birdie to win the hole and take the lead. But he misses! Wow that was surprising. The Europeans have really squandered opportunities the last two holes.

All square thru 14

Match 1 – Hole No. 17: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

We’ll head to 18 at all square after the par-4 17th is halved with pars. With Finau already in, Koepka gave his 15-footer a good roll, but it missed right.

All square thru 17

Match 3 – Hole No. 15: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Hatton hit his approach in the water, but the other three found the green. Thomas came up clutch by firing his approach right over the pin some 4 feet past. Casey had a 15-footer for birdie but missed left. Thomas rolled in his putt to win the hole.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 15

Match 2 – Hole No. 16: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

DJ sticks his tee ball to about 5 feet and after the Europeans miss long birdie tries, DJ is conceded the putt. The Americans get the first point as McIlroy fails to record a birdie.

U.S. wins, 4 and 2

Match 4 – Hole No. 13: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Molinari had a golden opportunity with an 8-footer for birdie to win the hole and move 1 up. But this one falls off to the left. He settles for par and a halve.

All square thru 13

Match 2 – Hole No. 15: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

Fowler finds water twice at the tough par-4, but DJ has a good look at birdie. From 8 feet, though, he misses and the Europeans live to see another hole.

U.S. leads, 3 up thru 15

Match 1 – Hole No. 16: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Finau’s tee ball at the par-3 16th is heading straight for the water until … it hits the wooden reinforcement and bounces to 5 feet. He makes the birdie putt to bring the match back to all square with two holes to play.

All square thru 16

Match 3 – Hole No. 14: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Hatton with a beauty of a pitch for his third at the par 5, as this one finishes no more than 3 feet from the cup. But Spieth responds by blasting a bunker shot to 18 inches for a tap-in birdie. Hatton calmly knocked in his short birdie putt to halve the hole.

All square thru 14

Match 1 – Hole No. 15: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Finau dunks his second at the par-4 15th in the water and Rose, also in the deep stuff, has to lay up. Koepka and Rahm narrowly avoid the water themselves. Rahm misses a 5-footer for par as he opts to putt before Rose, who has 7 feet left. With Koepka already in with par, Rose makes the clutch putt.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 15

Match 2 – Hole No. 14: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

Rory doesn’t have a birdie all day, and things don’t change here at the par-5 14th as he misses a 10-footer. Fowler drains a long birdie and forced Olesen to sink his 8-foot birdie to halve, which he does.

U.S. leads, 3 up thru 14

Match 4 – Hole No. 12: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Fleetwood and Molinari both hit good tee shots. Fleetwood fires his approach to 12 feet and Molinari to 6. Reed left himself 25 feet for birdie. Woods missed the fairway and then the green and chipped close. Reed then missed his birdie putt, leaving the Euros two shots to win the hole with birdie. Molinari finished it off by draining his putt.

All square thru 12

Match 3 – Hole No. 13: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Hatton spins one back to 2 feet on the approach to this par 4. That birdie is conceded and Thomas can’t drop a 15-footer for birdie to halve. That’s now three straight holes won and this match is all square!

All square thru 13

Match 1 – Hole No. 14: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Rose, Rahm and Koepka all have birdie putts at the par-5 14th – and all of them miss. Rahm’s was the closest. From 5 feet, Rahm’s ball brutally lipped out 360 degrees. Wow.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 14

Match 4 – Hole No. 11: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Nothing special on these par-3 tee shots, with Molinari getting closest by knocking it to 15 feet. As it turns out, that birdie putt would be to win the hole and Molinari buries it. A huge response after Reed’s chip-in birdie to capture the 10th.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 11

Match 2 – Hole No. 13: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

Looks like DJ is no longer getting crossed up by his cross-handed putting grip. He drains another birdie putt to win the par-4 13th after Fowler found the water off the tee.

U.S. leads, 3 up thru 13

Match 3 – Hole No. 12: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

This one is getting tight. Thomas nearly jars a 40-footer for birdie, even starts chasing after it before it comes up inches short. Casey follows by draining a 6-footer for his fourth straight birdie. That wins the hole and now this one is getting interesting.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 12

Match 4 – Hole No. 10: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

All four players miss this green at this par 4, especially jarring for Reed after leaving himself just 78 yards from the fairway for his approach (he spun it off the front of the green). But THERE is the Ryder Cup Reed we all know, as he chips in from there for birdie! Molinari had to chip in to halve the hole but couldn’t.

U.S. leads, 2 up thru 10

Match 1 – Hole No. 13: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Koepka responds to Rose’s chip-in on No. 12 with a 25-foot make for birdie to win the par-4 13th.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 13

Match 2 – Hole No. 12: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

DJ finally gets one to drop as he sinks a long birdie to win the hole and give the Americans a big 2-up lead.

U.S. leads, 2 up thru 12

Match 3 – Hole No. 11: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Casey hits a beauty inside 10 feet at this par 3. He had that putt to win the hole and he drains it. After not factoring in much on the front nine, Casey has drained back-to-back clutch putts to keep the Euros in this match.

U.S. leads, 2 up thru 11

Match 4 – Hole No. 9: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Woods and Reed both find the fairway and then power fairway woods just off the green at this par 5 in two. The Europeans, meanwhile, struggle and neither could find the green IN THREE. Woods chips to 5 feet. With Woods that close for birdie, Molinari had to make his 8-footer for par to put any pressure on but lipped out. The Euros promptly concede the hole.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 9

Match 1 – Hole No. 12: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Rose misses the fairway and the green, but never fear, Europeans, because the Englishman holes his chip for birdie, which ends up winning he and Rahm the hole.

Europe leads, 2 up thru 12

Match 3 – Hole No. 10: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

This was a spirited one. Casey knocked one in on this par 4 about 8 feet right of the cup, Spieth followed by putting it 6 feet left of the hole. But Thomas, who hit his approach 15 feet right of the cup on the fringe, then drained his birdie putt and gestured to the crowd by putting his hand to his ear. Casey, unfazed, buries his birdie putt to halve the hole.

U.S. leads, 3 up thru 10

Match 2 – Hole No. 11: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

The Americans miss their long birdie attempts at this par-3, as does McIlroy. That leaves Olesen to make a 10-footer, which he fails to do. Halve with pars.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 11

Match 1 – Hole No. 11: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Rose and Rahm each miss lengthy birdie tries at the par-3 11th. Koepka then drains a birdie chip from the intermediate cut to win the hole.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 11

Match 3 – Hole No. 9: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Thomas and Casey both face putts inside 5 feet for birdie at this par 5. Thomas rolls his in first, and Casey calmly follows to avoid losing hole and going to back nine 4 down.

U.S. leads, 3 up thru 9

Match 2 – Hole No. 10: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

Fowler is the only player to hit the fairway on this par-4 and he converts a 6-footer for birdie to win a second straight hole for the Americans.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 10

Match 4 – Hole No. 8: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Woods knocks one at this par 3 to 25 feet and Fleetwood is the only other one to find the green, some 40 feet away. Reed hits into bunker but blasts out to conceded par. After Fleetwood runs his birdie effort 5 feet by, Woods had that birdie putt to win the hole but it missed low and left. Molinari putts first for par for Euros and drains his 6-footer to halve.

All square thru 8

Match 1 – Hole No. 10: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Rahm gets in trouble early at the par-4 10th, but he’s able to chip in for par to allow Rose to give his 10-foot birdie putt a good run. Koepka is in close, but Rose sinks his birdie to ensure at least a halve. Koepka then makes his from 4 feet.

Europe leads, 2 up thru 10

Match 4 – Hole No. 7: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Fleetwood and Molinari both miss the fairway and green on this par 4. Woods and Reed both find the fairway and then hit near identical approaches about 10 feet beyond the cup. Molinari misses a 15-foot par putt and Woods fails on his birdie effort but is conceded par. Fleetwood then misses right on his 10-footer for par, giving the U.S. the hole.

All square thru 7

Match 2 – Hole No. 9: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

Fowler gets up and down for his birdie on this par-5 to win the hole and square the match back up.

All square thru 9

Match 3 – Hole No. 8: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Spieth and Thomas dodge a bullet here. They get in with par and watch as Hatton hits the pin with his pitch for birdie. The ball finishes a foot away on that one. Casey then faced a 25-footer for birdie, and this one tracks until it hits the left lip and rims out. Euros settle for par and halve.

U.S. leads, 3 up thru 8

Match 1 – Hole No. 9: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

These par-5s are gettable and both teams notch birdies as they head to the back nine.

Europe leads, 2 up thru 9

Match 2 – Hole No. 8: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

DJ and Rory don’t come close to making shorties for par, but luckily for Europe, Olesen is there to send home his 4-footer for par. Europe now leads in three matches.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 8

Match 4 – Hole No. 6: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Fleetwood misses the green just to the right at this drivable par 4 while Molinari and Reed are just left and short. Woods hits a huge pull left but gets a big break as his ball finishes in a matted down lie. He chips to 2 feet. Fleetwood chips to inches for birdie and Reed then drains a 6-footer for birdie before Woods’ putt to halve the hole.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 6

Match 3 – Hole No. 7: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Thomas hits an amazing shot from thick rough with the ball well below his feet, as he’s able to rocket this one on the green and the ball rolls about 15 feet beyond the cup. And it doesn’t matter because Spieth decides to chip in for birdie to win the hole. This is absolutely astounding stuff from Spieth.

U.S. leads, 3 up thru 7

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Match 4 – Hole No. 5: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Ho-hum pars for both sides on this par 4. This has definitely been an erratic match so far, with some brilliant shots and some mediocre ones.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 5

Match 1 – Hole No. 8: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Rahm hits a beauty at this long par-3 while Finau is well short and Koepka is left and in the thick stuff … again. It’s about 7 feet for Rahm and he drains the birdie. BIG FIST PUMP!

Europe leads, 2 up thru 8

Match 2 – Hole No. 7: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

Well, Rory is out of the hole after nearly whiffing on his second shot from the rough at the par-4 seventh. Olesen almost makes birdie to win the hole, but in the end it’s a halve with pars.

All square thru 7

Match 3 – Hole No. 6: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Spieth comes up short of this drivable par 4 but is able to chip up to a foot for birdie. Thomas drives the green, but his 30-footer for eagle just slides by on the right. Hatton’s tee shot fires right at the pin and bounds just over the green. His 20-foot eagle chip misses the hole by inches right. The easy birdie halves.

U.S. leads, 2 up thru 6

Match 1 – Hole No. 7: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Uh oh. Finau hits 3-wood right and out of bounds on this par-4 while Koepka is so far left he’s in North Carolina. Koepka can only give the U.S. bogey and Rose sinks a short par to win the hole.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 7

Match 3 – Hole No. 5: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Watch. Out. Spieth’s putting magic has returned in grand fashion, as he follows a series of clutch putts by burying a 25-footer for birdie at the par 4. That putt ends up winning the hole after Casey can’t follow by dropping a 20-footer. Spieth is unbeatable when putting like this.

U.S. leads, 2 up thru 5

Match 4 – Hole No. 4: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Fleetwood stuffs his approach at this par 4 to 4 feet. That puts U.S. in dire spot with Reed facing 40-yard birdie pitch and Woods having 10 feet for par. Reed pitches to a foot, but Fleetwood calmly rolls in his birdie effort for the win.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 4

Match 2 – Hole No. 6: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

With DJ in trouble, Fowler chips from some thick stuff and almost holes it for eagle at the driveable par-4 sixth. He’s in with a gimme birdie. McIlroy three-putts for par, but Olesen saves him with a two-putt birdie.

All square thru 6

Match 3 – Hole No. 4: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

What putting woes? Jordan Spieth absolutely buries an 18-footer for par to halve this one. He gives this one the Tiger step, too. He’s feeling it with the flatstick today, and it’s carrying the Americans in this one.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 4

Match 4 – Hole No. 3: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

Tiger’s first driver of the day and he misses in the left rough. Reed makes up for it by finding fairway at this par 5. Molinari goes into right rough while Fleetwood trickles into right intermediate. Woods gets aggressive and takes a wood from bad lie and helicopters one into left rough just short and left of green. Reed comes up just short, as his ball finishes in rough 20 feet short of pin. Molinari fires up to right rough in front of green. Fleetwood finds green in two but has 50+ feet for eagle. Then Tiger decides to hit a high lob that masterfully finishes a foot from the cup. That’s just art for a kick-in birdie. Molinari drains a 5-footer for birdie to make it a halve.

All square thru 3

Match 2 – Hole No. 5: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

DJ lips out his birdie putt from 18 feet and Fowler also misses from the same line and a foot or two closer. Halve with pars.

All square thru 5

Match 1 – Hole No. 6: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Who doesn’t love drivable par-4s? Rahm lands it nearly pin high and ends up just in the rough. Rose loses his grip on his driver, but the ball ends up on the green. Finau’s is similar to Rahm’s drive while Koepka is left of left and in the thick stuff. It doesn’t matter, though, as Finau chips in for his eagle and the Americans square the match back up.

All square thru 6

Match 1 – Hole No. 5: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Koepka again misses a makeable putt, this time for par at the par-4 fifth. Luckily, Finau bails him out by sinking his 6-footer to halve the hole.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 5

Match 3 – Hole No. 3: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Casey with a laser of a second shot on this par 5 that finishes 25 feet from the pin. But Thomas follows with a chip from in front of the green that scares the hole and finishes about two feet by the cup. Casey lags his eagle putt to tap-in birdie range. Spieth drains a 10-footer for birdie to ensure a halve (although Thomas’ own birdie effort would’ve been near-automatic).

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 3

Match 2 – Hole No. 4: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

With McIlroy still with meat left for par, Olesen takes a stroke at a 15-footer for birdie at the par-4 fourth and barely misses. Another halve.

All square thru 4

Match 4 – Hole No. 2: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

An opening here for the Americans as Molinari and Fleetwood both find the back bunker on this par 3. Reed can’t take advantage as he ends up in the right rough feet in front of that bunker. But Tiger, WOW. He fires this right at the flag and this rolls up 4 feet short of the cup. Molinari and Fleetwood both leave their bunker shots 10-plus feet from the cup and miss their par putts. With Tiger in tight for birdie and now needing two putts from there to win the hole, the Euros concede.

All square thru 2

Match 1 – Hole No. 4: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Koepka continues to run cold with the putter. He has about 12 feet for birdie at the par-4 fourth, but can’t convert. Another halve.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 4

Match 2 – Hole No. 3: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

Olesen has a look from 25 feet to make eagle at the par-5 third and win the hole, but he misses. The birdies is good for a halve as Johnson also makes birdie.

All square thru 3

Match 4 – Hole No. 1: Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) vs. Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA)

All four find the fairway here, and yeah Tiger went with the spirited twirl on his opening 5-wood. (Chills!) Fleetwood goes 15 feet right of the flag while Woods comes up 15 feet short and left in the fringe. Molinari then stuffs his 4-5 feet right of the flag and Reed, shockingly, comes up short in the water in an awful response. Fleetwood and Woods both miss their putts. The cool-headed Molinari pours in his birdie putt for the early lead.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 1

Match 3 – Hole No. 2: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Spieth has struggled with short putting this entire season, but he drains a 4-footer for par to halve the hole. He’s carrying this squad early.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 2

Match 1 – Hole No. 3: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

With Rose out of the hole, Rahm makes a 10-footer for birdie at the par-5 third. Finau also gets up and down from the bunker for birdie. Koepka has a good look at eagle, but runs the 8-footer by.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 3

Match 2 – Hole No. 2: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

Like the first match, the hole is halved with pars as Olesen settles down to make a 3.

All square thru 2

Match 3 – Hole No. 1: Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) vs. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA)

Identical for each team with one player down fairway, one in right rough. Spieth and Hatton in short grass while Thomas and Casey find rough. Thomas comes up short right of green while Casey finds water. Hatton picks up slack by knocking his approach 10 feet past, but then Spieth nearly jars his second for eagle, as his ball spins and hits the cup. It rims out and finishes 4 feet below the hole. Hatton misses, though, and Spieth drains his short remainder to win the opening hole.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 1

Match 1 – Hole No. 2: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

Three of the four guys are on the green at the par-3 second, the only exception being Rose, who missed just in the right rough. Koepka has a 10-footer for birdie, but just misses left. Hole is halved with pars.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 2

Match 2 – Hole No. 1: Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (EUR) vs. Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA)

Fowler finds the rough with his opening tee ball, but DJ goes iron and fades it into the fairway. Olesen splashes left, so it will be up to McIlroy who hits the fairway. DJ stuffs his approach to a few feet, easily the best of the four. McIlroy will have about a 20-footer for birdie. Rory misses, but so does DJ. Wow.

All square thru 1

Match 1 – Hole No. 1: Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (EUR) vs. Tony Finau/Brooks Koepka (USA)

The sun is finally out and we’re ready to go on the first tee. What a scene. Finau goes first and comes about 3 inches short of depositing an iron shot in the water left. Koepka, Rose and Rahm all find the fairway. Finau can only punch it down the fairway, but Koepka gives the U.S. a chance by hitting it to 12 feet. Rahm is in similar range while Rose is tight. Finau bogey, Koepka misses right and Rose wins the hole for the Europeans with birdie.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 1

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