Whistling Straits Golf Course, Sheboygan, WI — September 25, 2021
After establishing a three-point lead on day one of the 43rd Ryder Cup, the United States knows from past experience the importance of continuing the momentum into day two. So Captain Steve Stricker sent out the pairing of Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger to lead off in the Saturday morning matchup of foursome play against John Rahm and Sergio Garcia.
Saturday Morning Matches
Match 1: Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger (U.S.) vs. Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia (Europe)
The Americans won the first three holes to go 3 up, they maintained that lead through the 5th hole before Rahm and Garcia began to chip away. At the turn, the Europeans had worked their way back to even. Koepka and Berger could only win one hole on the back nine.
The Spanish duo that developed a cohesive working relationship on day one, and delivered a win Friday morning, just continued to pour it on. They closed out the match 3 up with 1 to play. U.S. 6 vs Europe 3
Match 2: Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa (U.S.) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton (Europe)
The star pairing for the U.S., Johnson and Morikawa, did their job of stopping the European momentum by trouncing Casey and Hatton. Up by four holes after the opening nine, they fought off a comeback attempt to gain a 2 up with 1 to go victory and settle fan nerves. U.S. 7 vs Europe 3
Match 3: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (U.S.) vs. Bernd Wiesberger/Viktor Hovland (Europe)
The U.S. trailed in this match from the beginning until pulling even on the 10th hole. However, the Europeans immediately went back into the lead on the 11th. A three-hole run put Spieth and Thomas put them 2 up after 16. But Wiesberger and Hovland refused to fold winning the 17th for a shot to even the match at the last hole. Not to be, the Americans won the 18th for a 2 up victory assuring them of at least maintaining their lead from Friday. U.S. 8 vs Europe 3
Match 4: Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (U.S.) vs. Lee Westwood/Matt Fitzpatrick (Europe)
A see-saw battle over the first nine turned into an American stranglehold on the backside. Schauffele and Cantlay went 3 up after 11 and held on to close out the Saturday morning matches with a 2 up and 1 to play win. Staking the U.S. to a six-point advantage heading into Saturday afternoons four-ball matches. U.S. 9 vs Europe 3
To win the Ryder Cup Team USA needs to score 14.5 points over the three days of play. A strong Saturday afternoon showing could bring the U.S. within close reach of that goal with the all-important singles matches coming up on Sunday.
Saturday Afternoon Matches
A sweep by the U.S. would put the Americans within a point and a half of regaining the Cup. A four-match comeback for the Europeans and the advantage shrinks to 9-7. While it is unlikely either side can capture all of Saturday afternoon’s points. A strong showing from the visitors will ratchet the pressure up a notch heading into the final day of the competition.
Match 1: Tony Finau/Harris English (U.S.) vs. Shane Lowry/Tyrrell Hatton (Europe)
The American’s never led in the opening match of the afternoon. Lowery and Hatton made a 1 up lead hold out through the 18th hole. U.S. 9 vs Europe 4
Match 2: Brooks Koepka/Jordan Spieth (U.S.) vs. Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia (Europe)
The same thing held true in this match. Even though Koepka and Spieth evened the score on the 13th, birdies by Rahm and Garcia on 15 and 16 gave the Europeans some hope for a big afternoon comeback as they closed out their 2nd win 2 up with 1 to play. U.S. 9 vs Europe 5
Match 3: Scottie Scheffler/Bryson DeChambeau (U.S.) vs. Tommy Fleetwood/Viktor Hovland (Europe)
This was a back and forth affair with DeChambeau’s birdie on the 14th bringing the match even with four holes to play. Scheffler’s birdies on the 15th and 16th holes put the U.S. in position to close the match out with DeChambeau’s birdie on the 17th. 3 up with 1 to play. U.S. 10 vs Europe 5
Match 4: Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa (U.S.) vs. Ian Poulter/Rory McIlroy (Europe)
The deadly duo of Johnson and Morikawa charged to a 3 up lead after nine holes. They held Poulter and McIlroy down until a Morikawa birdie on the 15th sealed the win 4 up with 3 to play. U.S. 11 vs Europe 5
Holding on to the six-point lead heading into Sunday’s single matches is huge for the Americans. The U.S. needs just three and a half points to return the Cup to home soil. The 12 singles matchups set up some interesting pairings for the final day.
12:04 p.m. — Xander Schauffele (U.S.) vs. Rory McIlroy (Europe)
12:15 p.m. — Patrick Cantlay (U.S.) vs. Shane Lowry (Europe)
12:26 p.m. — Scottie Scheffler (U.S.) vs. Jon Rahm (Europe)
12:37 p.m. — Bryson DeChambeau (U.S.) vs. Sergio Garcia (Europe)
12:48 p.m. — Collin Morikawa (U.S.) vs. Viktor Hovland (Europe)
12:59 p.m. — Dustin Johnson (U.S.) vs. Paul Casey (Europe)
1:10 p.m. — Brooks Koepka (U.S.) vs. Bernd Wiesberger (Europe)
1:21 p.m. — Tony Finau (U.S.) vs. Ian Poulter (Europe)
1:32 p.m. — Justin Thomas (U.S.) vs. Tyrrell Hatton (Europe)
1:43 p.m. — Harris English (U.S.) vs. Lee Westwood (Europe)
1:54 p.m. — Jordan Spieth (U.S.) vs. Tommy Fleetwood (Europe)
2:05 p.m. — Daniel Berger (U.S.) vs. Matt Fitzpatrick (Europe)