Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines - Tommy
Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari propelled Europe into a commanding
position with a rare sweep of their four pairs matches to give the hosts
a 10-6 lead over the United States going into the final day of the
Ryder Cup rookie Fleetwood and Molinari became the first European
couple to claim four points from their opening four matches, inflicting a
pair of defeats on Tiger Woods in Saturday's fourballs and foursomes at
Le Golf National.
They were just the second pairing to go 4-0 in team matches since
1979, joining American duo Larry Nelson and Lanny Wadkins who achieved
the feat at The Greenbrier.
After a 4 and 3 win over Woods and a misfiring Patrick Reed in the
morning fourballs, Fleetwood and Molinari thumped the 14-time major
champion and Bryson DeChambeau 5 and 4 in the foursomes.
"We were really, really good this afternoon," said Fleetwood. "We
played really solid, we played really well. But yeah, about the piece of
history together, it's very special."
British Open champion Molinari, winless in two previous Ryder Cup
appearances - in 2010 and 2012, warned the job is not yet finished for
Thomas Bjorn's side ahead of Sunday's 12 singles matches.
"We came here to do a job, and it wasn't to go in the records books
or anything like that, it's about the team, it's about getting to 14
1/2," said the Italian.
"We're getting closer, but those 4 1/2 points we're going to need tomorrow, we're going to have to fight hard for them."
No European player has scored five points from five in Ryder Cup
history, with US trio Arnold Palmer, Gardner Dickinson (both in 1969)
and Nelson (1979) the only golfers to accomplish it.
Bjorn, a vice-captain on the European team for the 'Miracle at
Medinah' in 2012, knows his team cannot afford to relax despite owning a
"History will show me and everybody on that team that this is not over," said the Dane.
"You go full bore tomorrow. Get out there and do all the right
things, and this is not over till you've got the points on the board."
As for Woods, he has endured a miserable return to Ryder Cup play
after a six-year absence, losing all three of his matches in France to
drop his record in pairs events to 9 and 19 with one draw.
"Everything feels pretty good. Just pretty pissed off, the fact that I
lost three matches, and didn't feel like I played poorly," said Woods,
on the winning side just once in seven Ryder Cups.
"That's the frustrating thing about match play. We can play well and nothing can happen."
Justin Rose and Henrik
Stenson continued their successful partnership with a tough 2 and 1
foursomes win over world number one Dustin Johnson and three-time major
champion Brooks Koepka.
Johnson and Koepka pulled to within one on the 15th, but Stenson
displayed nerves of steel to sink vital putts at the 16th and 17th -
the latter sealing the win as Koepka's ensuing effort rolled wide.
The US grabbed a share of the points in the afternoon session, with
two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson and former US Open champion Webb
Simpson leading from start to finish in a 3 and 2 victory over Sergio
Garcia and Alex Noren.
The Americans scrambled to halve the par-3 second despite twice
finding the water, as Garcia and Noren also combined for a triple bogey.
Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas have picked up half the Americans'
points in France, beating Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter 4 and 3 in the
foursomes after triumphing in the morning fourballs.
Their 2 and 1 victory over Poulter and Jon Rahm in the fourballs
halted a run of eight straight match wins for Europe, which equalled the
record set by the US team in 1967 in an era before the inclusion of
players from continental Europe.
The US will need to produce a monumental comeback, similar to that of
Brookline in 1999 where they rallied from 10-6 down entering the last
day to win, if they are to retain the trophy.
"We want to get out to a fast start tomorrow. That's key. It's
imperative. Everyone knows it," said Furyk, who will send Thomas out
first to face McIlroy in the opening singles.
"Any time a team's come back, now twice in this event, from four
points, it's been a fast start and a solid middle to late part of the
Results after Saturday's afternoon session of the 42nd Ryder Cup between Europe and the United States at Le Golf National:
Europe 10 United States 6
Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson (Europe) bt Dustin Johnson/Brooks Koepka (USA) 2 and 1
Bubba Watson/Webb Simpson (USA) bt Sergio Garcia/Alex Noren (Europe) 3 and 2
Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) bt Tiger Woods/Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 5 and 4
Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) bt Ian Poulter/Rory McIlroy (Europe) 4 and 3
Rory McIlroy/Sergio Garcia (Europe) bt Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) 2 and 1
Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (Europe) bt Dustin Johnson/Rickie Fowler (USA) 3 and 2
Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) bt Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA) 4 and 3
Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) bt Ian Poulter/Jon Rahm (Europe) 2 and 1
Henrik Stenson/Justin Rose (Europe) bt Dustin Johnson/Rickie Fowler (USA) 3 and 2
Rory McIlroy/Ian Poulter (Europe) bt Bubba Watson/Webb Simpson (USA) 4 and 2
Sergio Garcia/Alex Noren (Europe) bt Phil Mickelson/Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 5 and 4
Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) bt Justin Thomas/Jordan Spieth (USA) 5 and 4
Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau (USA) bt Justin Rose/Jon Rahm (Europe) 1-up
Dustin Johnson/Rickie Fowler (USA) bt Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen (Europe) 4 and 2
Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) bt Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (Europe) 1-up
Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood (Europe) bt Patrick Reed/Tiger Woods (USA) 3 and 1