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Ryder Cup 2021: Everything you need to know from Friday afternoon's four-ball session

September 24, 2021

Andrew Redington

There was no time for the Americans to rest on their laurels after a dominant morning foursomes session. It has seemingly become routine for the U.S. to jump out to an early lead only to falter in the afternoon, allowing the Europeans to climb right back into the match. That was not the case during the Friday fourball session in Kohler, Wisconsin. The Americans doubled their lead, taking a 6-2 advantage into Saturday. Here are the highlights of what happened in Session 2 on Day 1:

Match Scores

  • Dustin Johnson & Xander Schauffele (USA) df. Paul Casey & Bernd Wiesberger, 2 and 1
  • Bryson DeChambeau & Scottie Scheffler (USA) TIED Jon Rahm & Tyrrell Hatton
  • Tony Finau & Harris English (USA) df. Rory McIlroy & Shane Lowry, 4 and 3
  • Justin Thomas & Patrick Cantlay (USA) TIED Tommy Fleetwood & Viktor Hovland
  • United States leads Europe, 6-2

Best Shot

The par-5 fifth hole is 581 yards … on the scorecard. But when the winding, reverse-S-shaped hole is playing downwind, as it was Friday afternoon, the scorecard yardage is merely a suggestion. After moving hundreds of people out of the way, DeChambeau unleashed the driver on one of his most memorable blasts to date. A filthy recoil, 417 yards across the corner and a dramatic camera pan and zoom way past the normal landing zone later. It left Team USA’s longest hitter with a flip wedge into the green, which he stuck from 72 yard to about four feet before converting for eagle. After the Europeans had taken a 1-up lead on the fourth hole, DeChambeau’s eagle tied the match.

Best Match

Andrew Redington

That DeChambeau/Scheffler-Rahm/Hatton match was also the best … considering the back-and-forth battle it turned out to be. Three times, a team took a 1-up lead only to have the other team tie the match on the next hole. Until the 16th hole that is. DeChambeau holed a putt for par to win the 15th, and Scheffler sunk a six-foot par putt to tie the 16th. The match became the first of the day to reach the 18th hole as the teams tied the beastly par-3 17th with pars. In the end, it wasn't the World No. 1 who was the hero, but Hatton, who stuffed an iron to seven feet and drained the birdie putt to tie the match. With the Americans guaranteed to win the session, that half point is a huge part in the plans of any hopes of a comeback.

Honorable mention goes out to the anchor match, where the Americans flipped a 3-down thru eight defecit into a half a point on the back of some heroic putts from Thomas.

Worst Match

Patrick Smith

It’s the Ryder Cup, so none of the matches were really bad, per se. But the opening match of the session was a bit of a snoozer. The Americans jumped ahead early, winning Nos. 3-5, before the Europeans made a bit of a push to get back to 1 down. Johnson showed why, when he’s on, he’s the best player in the world, draining putts from all over on the back nine. The match nearly ended on the 15th green, if not for a 10-foot par putt from Wiesberger. What at one point looked like it may turn into a competitive match ended up with the Europeans going quietly into the evening with a pair of bogeys on 16, all but handing the Americans a 2-and-1 win.

Honorable mention for the 4-and-3 drubbing Finau and English handed McIlroy and Lowry. That match, at the very least, featured an absolute heater from Finau, who birdied four of eight holes to essentially win the match on his own.

Only at the Ryder Cup

The rules changed in 2019 to allow players to putt from on the green with the flagstick in, but old habits die hard. It wouldn’t really have been an issue to just walk away from this pin and allow the ball to hit it, but we sure are glad we got to witness the struggle to pull it out.

Michael Jordan DOES. NOT. MISS. RYDER. CUPS. No, seriously, MJ has been to every single Ryder Cup since 1999.