GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy (AP) — A capsule look at Saturday’s matches in the Ryder Cup:
Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood, Europe, def. Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, United States, 2 and 1.
Fleetwood buried a 25-foot birdie putt on the second hole, the Americans bogeyed the first and third, and just like that it was 3 up through three for Team Europe. Somehow, this match made 17 holes. Three times after winning holes, the Americans were wild off the tee and couldn’t capture momentum. Spieth finally arrived late in the match, and the Americans won three holes in a four-hole stretch to cut the deficit to 1 down with two to play. But Thomas missed to the right in deep rough on the 17th, Spieth chipped through the green and McIlroy holed an 18-foot par putt for the win.
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Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg, Europe, def. Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka, United States, 9 and 7.
One side featured the FedEx Cup champion and a Ryder Cup rookie who was at Texas Tech just four months ago. The other side had the No. 1 player in golf and a five-time major champion. It was a mismatch. Hovland and Aberg raced out to a 4 up lead. The Americans twice made double bogey. The Europeans were 7 up at the turn and dormie after 10 holes — 8 up with eight to play. The result was the largest margin of victory in an 18-hole match in Ryder Cup history.
Max Homa and Brian Harman, United States, def. Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka, Europe, 4 and 2.
Not only was this the first American win of the week, it was the first time Europe did not lead at any point. Homa and Harman showed themselves to be the most reliable American team at Marco Simone. The match was all square at the turn as Europe answered every time the Americans took the lead. But then Homa and Harman started birdie-birdie-eagle to start the back nine. Homa hit an iron that came inches away for an albatross on No. 12. Homa ended the match by chipping in for eagle on the 16th, removing his cap before the ball was in the hole.
Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, Europe, def. Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, United States, 2 and 1.
Europe built yet another big lead early, and it looked to turn on the back nine when Rahm birdied the 11th for a 3-up lead. The Americans came charging back and squared the match three holes later, and Cantlay made a pressure 6-footer to halve the 15th with a bogey. But on the 16th, Cantlay chipped a little too strong and Schauffele missed an 8-foot birdie, right after Hatton holed his birdie putt from 15 feet. Rahm was inches away from an ace on the 17th, and Cantlay drilled his iron to 6 feet. Schauffele missed another putt that would have extended the match.
Sam Burns and Collin Morikawa, United States, def. Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg, Europe, 4 and 3.
Not many considered Burns and Morikawa as a partnership. They gave the Americans their most convincing win in team matches. Burn was like a man captivated by the Ryder Cup spirit, cupping his hand to the ear at the European crowd as he made three birdies in six holes. Morikawa played a four-hole stretch around the turn in 4 under and the Americans built a 6-up lead with six to play. It took three more holes, but they got the win.
Max Homa and Brian Harman, United States, def. Tommy Fleetwood and Nicolai Hojgaard, Europe, 2 and 1.
Homa and Harman resumed their leadership on the golf course by never trailing and handing Fleetwood his first loss of the week. Homa opened with birdies on three of the first six holes for a 3-up lead, and his eagle on the 12th hole restored a 4-up lead. This looked to be in hand, but the Europeans made them work for it. Hojgaard birdied the 14th. Fleetwood chipped in for eagle from just off the green at at 16th to get to 2 down with two to play. But Homa was the only one to hit the 17th green, and his 6-foot par putt closed it out.
Justin Rose and Robert MacIntyre, Europe, def. Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, United States, 3 and 2
The Americans seemed to have a little momentum from their morning match and they twice took the lead on the front nine with Spieth’s birdie on the par-3 fourth and Thomas making birdie on the par-3 seventh. The match flipped as they approached the turn. Rose birdied the ninth to square the match and birdied the 10th for a 1-up lead. MacIntyre’s birdie on the par-3 12th gave them a 2-up lead, and on the 14th, Spieth went out-of-bounds and Thomas made bogey. Most bizarre was the 16th when the match was dormie. Rose holed a 12-foot birdie putt for the win.
Patrick Cantlay and Wyndham Clark, United States, def. Matt Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy, Europe, 1 up.
McIlroy birdied the par-3 fourth hole for a 1-up lead as he tried to go 4-0 in team play. Europe kept the lead as the next six holes were halved. Cantlay squared the match with a birdie at the 11th and McIlroy got the lead back with a birdie on the 14th. And then the fun began. McIlroy hit a sensation 3-wood onto the par-4 16th green, but Cantlay matched his birdie with a 10-foot putt. Cantlay won the 17th with an 8-foot birdie and the match was all square. On the 18th, Cantlay’s flop shot out of deep rough sailed long, 45 feet past the pin. He holed the putt, Europe missed its two chances and the Americans got a crucial win.
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