SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – When it comes to how the captain’s picks have fared here in France, it’s a lopsided affair.
Thomas Bjorn’s picks: 6 points.
Jim Furyk’s picks: 1 point.
The Europeans hold a four-point lead over the Americans after four sessions at the Ryder Cup.
Tiger Woods (0-3), Phil Mickelson (0-1) and Bryson DeChambeau (0-2) have each been skunked at Le Golf National. Woods ran up against Europe’s new dream team – Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari – a whopping three times and basically played by himself on Saturday morning. He doesn’t look like the same guy who won at East Lake last Sunday, but it hasn’t been the easiest of roads for him either.
Rookie Tony Finau is the only one of Furyk’s picks to post a point. After a tough start on Friday, Mickelson sat all of the second day.
The Europeans have outplayed the Americans every which way this week, but Bjorn’s veteran picks have come up in a big way. Henrik Stenson, paired with longtime partner Justin Rose, put up two points in Saturday foursomes.
“Henrik had, can I say balls of steel on the radio?” said Rose in an interview. “But the putts he hit on 16 and 17 – he stopped asking me for reads and made them.”
Paul Casey was emotional after a clutch performance in Saturday morning four-balls that included five birdies in the first seven holes.
“We knew the U.S. was going to come out guns blazing after our amazing performance in the foursomes yesterday,” said Casey, “and I desperately wanted a point after playing a great match against Dustin and Jordan yesterday. I threw my heart at it and got nothing out of it. So I wanted a point; 10 years since I last had one and I came out guns blazing ….”
Ian Poulter gets credit for helping inspire a turnaround in Rory McIlroy on Friday and Sergio Garcia, also a two-point winner, is considered the heart of this European team.