SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Justin Thomas cupped a hand to his ear on the par-5 14th after dropping a birdie putt to incite a rowdy European crowd. There hasn’t been much for the Americans to brag about of late. It’s been nothing short of a disaster for Jim Furyk’s team the past 24 hours.
But Thomas, a Ryder Cup rookie, provided a desperately needed bright spot when he birdied four of the last six holes at Le Golf National to earn the first point in eight matches for Team USA alongside friend Jordan Spieth.
“We knew how big this point was,” Thomas said.
Teammates since their Junior Ryder Cup days eight years ago, Thomas and Spieth downed the fiery team of Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm, 2 and 1, in morning four-balls. It kept the U.S. from becoming the first team in Ryder Cup history to get swept in two sessions. Europe leads the contest 8-4 going into afternoon foursomes.
The pair will go out together again in the afternoon session against Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter.
“We’ve done a great job of not really looking at boards, focusing on anything else,” said Spieth. “We’ve done a really good job of staying patient and with ourselves. We’ve got to do the same thing. But as a team, to get momentum back, getting us closer than 4 points by the end of the day would be the goal. And we know if it’s 4 or less, it’s been done before.”