Live blog: 2018 Ryder Cup, Saturday morning four-balls

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Live blog: 2018 Ryder Cup, Saturday morning four-balls

2018 Ryder Cup

Live blog: 2018 Ryder Cup, Saturday morning four-balls

The Europeans continued to roll Saturday morning as they won three of four matches to build an 8-4 lead.

It’s a nice margin heading into afternoon foursomes.

We tracked each match, hole by hole, from this session as it all played out in Paris. Catch up below:

Match 4 – Hole No. 17: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (EUR)

Thomas is the only one who finds the fairway and that proves pivotal. The other three miss the green while Thomas fires his approach 8 feet beyond the hole. Rahm makes a good run at his birdie chip but comes up 2 feet short. Thomas then manages to get his birdie putt to drop in the right side and that wins the hole and the match! That’s a huge point for the U.S. The Americans are now down 8-4, but they are not out of this.

U.S. wins, 2 and 1

Match 4 – Hole No. 16: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (EUR)

What a match this is! Poulter knocks his tee shot 6 feet right of the pin and Thomas responds by knocking it inside him. Spieth acutally hit it to 8 feet, too, with the help of a lucky kick to the right. Spieth misses his putt and Poulter rolls his in. Thomas had to knock in his 5-footer to halve the hole in birdies and this one catches the left side of the cup and drops. This one is getting tense.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 16

Match 4 – Hole No. 15: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (EUR)

This one stays right as is. Rahm goes in the water on his approach to the par 4. Poulter finds the green, though. Thomas goes just over the green and Spieth hits his approach to 15 feet. Spieth had that birdie putt to win the hole but misses. Poulter hit his putt 4 feet by but makes the comebacker for par to halve the hole.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 15

Match 3 – Hole No. 15: Tiger Woods/Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR)

The Americans just butchers this par 4. Reed hits his approach in the water and Woods is forced to lay up after a drive in the rough. That forces him to make a 20-footer for par to halve the hole and extend the match, and Woods miss left. The Euros win, putting Fleetwood/Molinari at 3-0 this week. Europe now leads 8-3 and has won eight straight matches.

Europe wins, 4 and 3

Match 4 – Hole No. 14: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (EUR)

An interesting sequence here. Rahm drains an 8-footer for birdie and goes nuts. Thomas drops a 6-footer for birdie on top of him to halve the hole, and then puts his hand to his ear in addressing the crowd. Quite a moment there, and Thomas isn’t backing off with this road crowd. Kind of Reed-esque on that.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 14

Match 2 – Hole No. 16: Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR)

Great lag by Hatton from 60 feet and that will do it as Fowler and Johnson miss their birdie putts.

Europe wins, 3 and 2

Match 1 – Hole No. 17: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (EUR)

What a hole by the Euros. McIlroy has to hack out of the rough, but ends up sinking a 35-footer for par. Garcia then gives his 20-footer for birdie a run and drains it. Koepka can’t answer and the Euros get a point.

Europe wins, 2 and 1

Match 2 – Hole No. 15: Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR)

Johnson chips in for par and ends up halving the hole after Hatton misses a 15-footer for birdie.

Europe leads, 3 up thru 15

Match 4 – Hole No. 13: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (EUR)

First we’ve heard from Rahm in this match in some time. He fires a wedge at this par 4 close, about 4 feet beyond the cup. He rolls that right in to win the hole and cut back on the deficit in this match.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 13

Match 1 – Hole No. 16: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (EUR)

Tony Finau hits it to 15 feet at then par-3 16th and then drains the putt to win a third straight hole for the Americans. It’s on!

Europe leads, 1 up thru 16

Match 2 – Hole No. 14: Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR)

Americans can’t make birdie here as Fowler puts too much speed on his 20-footer and has it lip out. Europeans win with a Casey birdie, his sixth of the day.

Europe leads, 3 up thru 14

Match 3 – Hole No. 13: Tiger Woods/Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR)

This has gone really south really fast for the Americans. Reed hits his drive so far right that it actually lands right of the water and then hops left in the drink. Woods finds the fairway, but his approach to this par 4 finds the water. It ends up with Reed missing a 15-footer for par and the Americans conceding, giving Molinari and Fleetwood three consecutive wins after Woods and Reed had fought so hard to square this match.

Europe leads, 3 up thru 13

Match 1 – Hole No. 15: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (EUR)

The exciting par-4 15th delivers again as McIlroy and Garcia both find the water with their approach shots. Garcia then nearly holes his fourth shot before settling for bogey. Koepka has a shortie for par left, but lips it out. Finau steps up and makes his par save to win the hole.

Europe leads, 2 up thru 15

Match 4 – Hole No. 12: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (EUR)

The young American duo is really feeling it now. Thomas fires one in there to 4 feet at this par 4 while Poulter and Rahm struggle. Poulter misses the green but hits a wonderful pitch to a foot. That saves par, but Thomas rolls in the short birdie putt to give the Americans wins on back-to-back holes.

U.S. leads, 2 up thru 12

Match 1 – Hole No. 14: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (EUR)

Koepka gets up and down for birdie at the par-5 14th. Garcia has a chance to halve from 12 feet, but he misses.

Europe leads, 3 up thru 14

Match 3 – Hole No. 12: Tiger Woods/Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR)

This European duo is relentless. Woods and Reed struggle on this hole, with Woods being conceded a bogey and Reed facing a 6-footer for par. Meanwhile, Molinari and Fleetwood both knock their approaches to this par 4 within 15 feet. Before Fleetwood can attempt his 6-footer for birdie, Molinari just knocks in his birdie effort dead center to win the hole. That’s back-to-back for Molinari as the Euros take back control.

Europe leads, 2 up thru 12

Match 2 – Hole No. 13: Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR)

Johnson and Hatton trade short birdie putts and Europe remains 2 up in this match with five to play.

Europe leads, 2 up thru 13

Match 4 – Hole No. 11: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (EUR)

If there’s a match that could save the U.S. at this Ryder Cup, this one would be a big candidate. Spieth rolls in a 25-footer for birdie to win this hole and put the U.S. ahead in this one. This is the sole U.S. flag on the board this morning currently.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 11

Match 3 – Hole No. 11: Tiger Woods/Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR)

Molinari is cold-blooded. Three pretty average tee shots on this par 3 from the rest, and then Molinari fires one at the flag and nearly scores an ace. This ball finishes 4 feet beyond the pin. Woods can’t get a 30-footer to drop, so Molinari drops in the short birdie putt to win the hole and take back the lead.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 11

Match 3 – Hole No. 10: Tiger Woods/Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR)

Now matters are getting really interesting. Woods lasers one into this par 4 about 4 feet left of the flag. Fleetwood misses a 15-footer for birdie, and Molinari fails from 10 feet. Woods has that close birdie putt to win the hole and square the match, and he does just that. That’s three birdies in the last four holes for the Americans.

All square thru 10

Match 2 – Hole No. 11: Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR)

Johnson finally makes a putt, draining a 15-footer for birdie at the par-3 11th, and the Americans get a hole back here.

Europe leads, 2 up thru 11

Match 3 – Hole No. 9: Tiger Woods/Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR)

This will be a crucial match, it more and more appears. Fleetwood nearly reaches the par-5 green in two and then putts from below the surface to tap-in range. Reed needs to make a 5-footer for birdie to halve the hole and does. He shushes the crowd afterward, which was a bold move on a day where he’s struggled so much. Regardless, it’s all tied up in this one.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 9

Match 4 – Hole No. 8: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (EUR)

Jordan Spieth is killing it on the par 3s this morning. He fires this tee shot about 4 feet right of the hole. The Europeans can’t match, and Spieth rolls in the putt to win the hole. That means the Europeans now longer lead all four matches, but they are still in control.

All square thru 8

Match 1 – Hole No. 11: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (EUR)

After McIlroy lips out a birdie chip, Garcia gets the home fans pumping by draining a 12-footer for birdie at the par-3 11th. Finau missed a 5-footer for birdie to lose the hole.

Europe leads, 4 up thru 11

Match 4 – Hole No. 7: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (EUR)

The Americans make a mess of this hole, as both have to lay up after bad tee shots. Spieth hits his third at this par 4 to 15 feet and Thomas to about 7-8 feet. But Poulter renders that moot as he buries a 20-footer for birdie. That wins the hole and the Europeans now lead in all four matches this morning.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 7

Match 3 – Hole No. 7: Tiger Woods/Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR)

That’s exactly what the U.S. needed. A pretty bad sign that Reed goes OB at this par 4 as his driving woes continue. But Woods takes over, finding the fairway and then getting a 25-footer for birdie to win the hole to drop. That one caught the left edge and curled in, but it did. That is the duo’s FIRST birdie of this match. They really needed it, too.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 7

Match 2 – Hole No. 8: Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR)

Hatton gets in on the birdie party for the Euros, making a 25-footer for birdie to win the hole at the par-3 eighth.

Europe leads, 3 up thru 8

Match 1 – Hole No. 9: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (EUR)

McIlroy bogeys the par-5 and Garcia can’t convert birdie from 30 feet. Koepka comes up big with the up-and-down birdie from the sand and the Americans get a hole back.

Europe leads, 3 up thru 9

Match 1 – Hole No. 7: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (EUR)

Finau and Poulter with good shots into the par-3 seventh green, but it’s McIlroy who strikes first by draining a 25-footer for birdie. Finau can’t convert from 8 feet and Europe wins another hole. Rory is dialed in!

Europe leads, 4 up thru 7

Match 2 – Hole No. 6: Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR)

Casey rolls in his fifth birdie of the match, this one at the par-4 sixth from 30 feet, and Europe continues to gain momentum.

Europe leads, 2 up thru 6

Match 4 – Hole No. 4: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (EUR)

Poulter knocks his approach about 12 feet past the cup on this par 4 approach while the Americans struggle. Both miss the green and Thomas pitches to about 7 feet. Poulter misses his birdie putt right, but Thomas misses his par effort to the right as well and the Americans lose the hole.

All square thru 4

Match 1 – Hole No. 6: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (EUR)

Koepka goes driver and loses his tee ball in the left rough. Garcia and McIlroy both fire their approach shots in close and McIlroy rolls in the birdie from 6 feet.

Europe leads, 3 up thru 6

Match 2 – Hole No. 5: Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR)

Some good birdies by Casey and Fowler at then par-5 fifth, Casey making a tough downhill putt from 8 feet and Fowler responding from 5 feet.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 5

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

The U.S. is really in trouble in this one. Reed blocks his tee shot on this par 5 in a hazard and Woods then pulls his driver into rough. Molinari meanwhile goes fairway, green in two and easy birdie. Woods needs to drain 25-footer for birdie to halve, but he misses and the Euros have an early lead against an increasingly shaky American squad.

Europe leads, 2 up thru 3

Match 1 – Hole No. 5: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (EUR)

Finau comes up big, jarring a bunker shot for birdie. McIlroy is forced to make a 15-footer for birdie, which he does. Huge make for Rors.

Europe leads, 2 up thru 5

Match 2 – Hole No. 4: Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR)

With DJ in some bunker trouble off the fairway, Fowler misses the green with his approach at the par-4 fourth. Hatton hits it close and make the 8-footer for birdie to win the hole.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 4

Match 4 – Hole No. 2: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (EUR)

On a tough par 3 that has seen a few water balls already (including Rahm in this group), Spieth shows no fear as he fires this right at the flag and gets this to finish 3 feet under the cup. He calmly rolls in that short birdie putt to win the hole.

U.S. leads, 1 up thru 2

Match 1 – Hole No. 4: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (EUR)

Brutal lip-out for Koepka on his par putt at the par-4 fourth, and Garcia is conceded a short birdie putt.

Europe leads, 2 up thru 4

Match 3 – Hole No. 2: Tiger Woods/Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (EUR)

After opening with pars to halve, this match has its first action. Fleetwood drains a 25-footer for birdie for the Euros to take the lead. Tommy’s big week with the flatstick continues.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 2

Match 1 – Hole No. 3: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (EUR)

Koepka rinses his tee ball at the par-5 third and Finau thins a greenside bunker shot through the green. McIlroy almost holes his bunker shot for eagle and wins the hole with birdie.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 3

Match 2 – Hole No. 2: Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR)

Casey and DJ miss in the water, short and left, at this par-3. That’s five water balls in two holes for this match. Hatton lands his tee ball in the right trap while Fowler has a good look at birdie from about 15 feet. He converts and the match is back to all square.

All square thru 2

Match 2 – Hole No. 1: Rickie Fowler/Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (EUR)

Oh no. Not a good start for the Americans as Fowler finds the water with iron and DJ almost does. Hatton is also in the water, though Casey is safely on the right side of the fairway. Things get worse for the U.S. as Fowler drops and pulls his third shot well left, left of the water and into the sidehill. DJ lays up and then spins a wedge back into the water. Europeans are conceded the hole without even putting.

Europe leads, 1 up thru 1

Match 1 – Hole No. 1: Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (EUR)

Irons for the Americans, as they both find the opening fairway on this chilly morning. The Europeans do the same, though McIlroy was awfully close to the water. With the other three players missing birdie putts, Garcia has a 20-footer for the fringe and leaves it about a half-foot short. Opening halve with pars.

All square thru 1

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