Saturday at Whistling Straits has become all that more vital for Team Europe after the inspired American performance Friday at Whistling Straits. The Europeans can ill-afford another 3-1 defeat, the margin in both sessions yesterday, if they fancy their chances to comeback from this 6-2 deficit.
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Rory McIlroy will sit for the first time in his Ryder Cup career in the morning foursomes. The Europeans are underdogs in three of the four matches, according to oddsmakers, so they will need an inspired showing from some unproven competitors to trim this American lead, the biggest for Team USA after Day 1 since 1975, which was before continental Europe joined the Ryder Cup.
Here’s the latest from Day 2 of the 2021 Ryder Cup (all times in eastern):
7:25 p.m.: And after all that, it's still a six-point lead for Team USA heading into Sunday. Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler close out Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland, 3 and 1. So that's 11-5 through two days. And while there are still 12 points available in Sunday singles, no team has ever come back from that far down on the final day. Keep in mind, though, Europe just needs a 14-14 tie to retain the Ryder Cup. But also keep in mind, no team has ever failed to pick up at least 3.5 points, which is all the Americans need. In any event, get some rest and we'll see you tomorrow!
7:08 p.m.: Yeah, that four-point deficit didn't last long as Collin Morikawa and Dustin Johnson close out Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter, 4 and 3. McIlroy falls to 0-3 for the week. Man, maybe he really should go back to being "Hatless Rory."
7:05 p.m.: HUGE few minutes for Europe. Shane Lowry makes a gutsy par on No. 18 to win the match. Even though that only pulls Europe to within five points, he celebrated like he had just won the Masters, but we'll let it slide. One hole behind, Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia close out Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth. So now it's 9-5. . . but only for the moment.
6:48 p.m.: More rules-y stuff! Apparently on the par-5 16th hole, the rules official got yardages for everyone to determine who was away before they hit their third shots—but then inadvertantly gave Sergio Garcia his yardage. And Jordan Spieth wasn't thrilled. It's unclear if Spieth and Brooks Koepka were then informed of their yardages too. What is clear is that Jon Rahm is on a freaking heater right now. He buries a 30-footer for birdie to make he and Garcia dormie in the match with two holes to play. Wow.
6:20 p.m.: There have been a lot of predictions for this week that haven't been close. But the one that Jon Rahm would play like the best player in the world is NOT one of those things. After stuffing an approach on No. 15, the Spaniard rolls in yet another birdie to put Europe back on top in that opening match. Europe now holds 1-up leads in the first three matches, but trails 3 down in the final match.
6:05 p.m.: The bad news for Team USA? Dustin Johnson missed about a two-footer. The good news? Collin Morikawa still had a four-foot attempt and he made that to keep the Americans 3 up in the final match. The other three matches remain much tighter with Europe having a 1-up lead in two and all square in the other. Still, if things remain this way, the U.S. would have a five-point lead entering Sunday's singles.
5:45 p.m.: Jon Rahm has his own lipout on the following hole—this time on a birdie chip at No. 13. Brooks Koepka follows by converting a short birdie putt and that match is ALL SQUARE. That's right, we don't care what the USGA says, we're still saying that. Anyway, it's been a fantastic comeback by Koepka and Spieth who were three down early on.
5:29 p.m.: Oh, my. Jordan Spieth appeared to square up the match on No. 12, but his birdie putt did a complete 360 and stayed hanging on the lip. Wow, that's rough. I'd like to say I've never seen the likes of it, but something like that happened to me the last time I played. Slightly lower stakes, though. . . In any event, Rahm/Garcia remain 1 up over Keopka/Spieth with six to play.
5:19 p.m.: Bryson DeChambeau is mostly known for his bombs off the tee, but he's been draining bombs on the green this afternoon. A 30-footer for birdie on 10 ties up the match between DeChambeau/Scheffler and Fleetwood/Hovland. Up ahead on No. 13, Tony Finau finally rolls in a birdie as he and English move to one down against Hatton/Lowry. Europe still leads in two matches, but by the slimmest of margins.
4:58 p.m.: Europe is enjoying its best session of the week by far, but if it's going to take something truly special to sweep thanks to the exploits of Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa. The dynamic duo are five under through eight holes and they have a 3-up lead in the fourth match as they try to improve their record as a pair to 3-0 for the week. DJ is looking to move to 4-0 having also won a Friday match with Xander Schauffele. Jon Rahm might be the current World No. 1 and playing like it this week, but Johnson has appeared to regain that type of form as well.
4:40 p.m.: Shane Lowry has come to play today. The 2019 Open champ has made five birdies in his first 10 holes under windy conditions at Whistling Straits. Unfortunately for him and teammate Tyrrell Hatton, though, they are only one up on Tony Finau and Harris English in the most balanced match of the week. Only one of those 10 holes has been won by either side. Europe currently leads in two matches and is tied in another, while trailing in the anchor match.
4:15 p.m.: So much for the U.S. not being ahead in any of these afternoon matches. Both Scheffler/Dechambeau and Johnson/Morikawa have 1-up leads now. And Brooks Koepka drains a curling birdie on No. 8 to bring the U.S. within two in that second match. Lowry/Hatton remain 1 up in their match against Finau/English after Lowry makes a knee-knocker for par and indicates—for a second time on the front nine—that it probably should have been conceded. Sadly, these gimmes (or non-gimmes) are about the only source of drama right now.
3:56 p.m.: A long birdie putt on No. 5 prompts a vintage Ian Poulter Ryder Cup reaction and squares the anchor match. Up ahead on No. 7, Jon Rahm drains a lengthy birdie of his own to give the red-hot Spanish duo of Rahm/Garcia a three-up advantage. The Americans are still in great shape, but suddenly they don't lead in any of the four afternoon matches.
3:40 p.m.: It wasn't quite the eagle he made on the fifth hole on Friday, but Bryson DeChambeau's birdie there today was nearly as impressive. After being more than 220 yards farther back due to a much different wind, Dechambeau's second shot wound up near a Juniper bush. But after hacking onto the green, he drained a 20-footer for birdie. Tommy Fleetwood's birdie attempt from eight feet never had a chance and now the match is tied. VAGARIES of match play!
3:23 p.m.: Ooh! A bit of a tiff on the fifth hole after Rahm's drove finds the water hazard on the right. According to Jim "Bones" Mackay on the broadcast, all four players agreed where the drop should take place, but then somebody else tried to "influence" that decision. Spieth took exception and looked to be in a bit of a quarrel with Rahm's caddie. In the end, Rahm dropped where all the players initially agreed, which was the right thing to do. The U.S. is up 9-3, but 2-down in this match, so there's clearly no desire to give any ground.
3:03 p.m.: Two straight birdies for Rahm and Garcia translate to a 2-up lead for the Spaniards. Rahm is playing like the No. 1 player in the world and Garcia is doing everything he can to will the Europeans back into the match.
2:55 p.m.: Maybe it's the wind. Maybe the Europeans have finally come to play. Maybe it's just early on in the session and none of this really matters yet. BUT ... the visitors are 1-up in three matches, while Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa are the lone Americans who have red on the board at the moment. A sweep would be a dream come true for the Euros, but a 3-1 session win would leave us with a score of 10-6 entering Sunday singles. That was the score after Saturday in 2012, when Europe pulled off "The Miracle at Medinah."
2:41 p.m.: The wind is absolutely brutal out there. Balls are oscilating on the greens. The best in the world are looking silly on putts. Greens are being missed ... by a lot. Things could get spicy!
2:28 p.m.: Ian Poulter has arrived. The Englishman gets a mid-range birdie to drop at the first to kick things off, eliciting a big uppercut and a yell. Dustin Johnson, naturally drops a birdie on top of him to tie the hole. Barely a half a fist pump out of him. Different strokes for differrent folks.
2:16 p.m.: A proper golf shot that even the Europeans can appreciate from Spieth on the par-5 second. A big slinging hook avoids the centerline pot bunker and runs some 20 yards onto the green, leaving just over 15 feet for eagle. Both Rahm and Gargia had to lay up, so this could be a chance for the Americans to pull even right away.
At the third, Lowry holes a long birdie putt to take a 1-up lead and promptly goes berserk. Nothing egregious, just absolutely nuts. When you're trailing by six points entering the second-to-last session, you've gotta do whatever it takes.
1:59 p.m.: Well, Team USA has owned the first hole this week ... except for this second four-ball match. Jon Rahm nips a pitch to tap-in range and neither Jordan Spieth nor Brooks Koepka can answer as the Europeans take a 1-up lead to the second tee. This pairing of Rahm and Sergio Garcia has been just about the only thing going for the visiting side this week.
1:44 p.m.: Team USA may hold a big lead, but they will not give an inch (or an extremely short birdie putt) to the Europeans. After Shane Lowry's eagle bid settles two feet from the hole, Harris English buries a 21-footer to tie the hole in birdie threes. The Americans have owned the first hole this week.
12:59 p.m.: Our afternoon fourballs pairings are here! The biggest surprises: Both Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay are sitting ... despite Xander securing three points for Team USA and Cantlay securing 2.5. Most expected a 37-year-old Dustin Johnson to get a rest, particularly with the U.S. up by six, but instead he's back out with Collin Morikawa.
Rory McIlroy is back on the course, but he remains with Ian Poulter, which is a bit of a head-scratcher for some. A young Viktor Hovland seemed like a great pairing to inspire Rory to play some better golf. We'll see ... European fans will hope Paddy Harrington can find some magic to prevent this from being a snooze-fest heading into Sunday.
Match 1: Tony Finau/Harris English vs. Shane Lowry/Tyrrell Hatton
Match 2: Brooks Koepka/Jordan Spieth vs. Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia
Match 3: Bryson DeChambeau/Scottie Scheffler vs. Viktor Hovland/Tommy Fleetwood
Match 4: Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa vs. Rory McIlroy/Ian Poulter
12:48 p.m.: A true dagger into the heart of the hopes of the European side: Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth secure a 2-up victory for Team USA after being down by three through the first six holes.
And back at the 17th hole, Xander Schauffele lags his birdie putt within tap-in range, so the hats are off as the U.S. secures the full point in the final match, 2 and 1.
This secures it: The Americans win another session, 3-1, to extend their lead to 9-3 over the Europeans. This means the U.S. needs only 5.5 points in the remaining two sessions to secure the Ryder Cup for just the fifth time in the last 14 Ryder Cups. Folks, this is a blowout ... barring a clean sweep in the afternoon from the Europeans, this is essentially over. Big advantage: 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
12:40 p.m.: There was a couple minutes here in the remaining matches where it appeared like the Europeans could grab a half point in both the remaining matches ... which would've meant it would've been 7-4 heading into the afternoon. Then within a one-minute span, Bernd Wiesberger sent his fairway-wood approach into the water hazard at the 18th hole. Then Lee Westwood at the 17th sent his tee shot way left in Jordan Spieth land. The Europeans need to win these holes to have a chance for those elusive half points to avoid a 9-3 American lead heading into the afternoon fourballs.
12:33 p.m.: Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth headed to the 17th tee with insane momentum after grabbing a 2-up lead with two to go. With the opportunity to close the match out, JT overcooked his iron left of the 17th green, even further left of where he left Spieth on Friday. This time, Spieth can't pull off the magic -- and this match heads to the 18th hole with the Europeans having a chance for a half point, the Americans up by 1.
12:21 p.m.: Collin Morikawa secures the victory for Team USA with a par putt at the 17th hole, partnering with Dustin Johnson again to secure a full point, defeating Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton in the second match. Morikawa, a Ryder Cup rookie, is now 2-0 in his debut, and DJ moves to 3-0. That's the first American point on the board of the morning, putting the U.S. up 7-3. 🇺🇸
12:18 p.m.: Justin Thomas loves the 16th hole. He has hit another fantastic approach at the par-5 16th hole, this one a long iron to about 11 feet to set up Jordan Spieth with an eagle putt. After Bernd Wiesberger hit a strong 15-footer for birdie, Spieth's eagle putt was on the sme line and absolutely huge. That puts the Americans up 2 with 2 to go in a match they trailed by three... 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
12:10 p.m.: Just like the morning session on Day 1, the first points on the board in foursomes comes from the European duo of Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia. The Spaniards secure the full point for Team Europe, 3 and 1, over Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth to bring the overall score to 6-3. 🇪🇺
Sergio Garcia has now taken the all-time lead for most Ryder Cup matches won ... that's his 24th victory. Just incredible ... perhaps the greatest contributor in Ryder Cup history in his 10th Ryder Cup this week.
12:01 p.m.: Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth have their first lead of the day after a missed par putt from Viktor Hovland at the 15th hole. The emotional leaders for Team USA go 1-up with three holes to play in what would be a dagger of a full point against the Europeans, who led by as much as three at one point. 🇺🇸
11:56 a.m.: The Europeans had some serious momentum in the second match after the Paul Casey hole-out, trimming the four-hole deficit to one. But Tyrrell Hatton just missed a five- to six-footer for par at the 16th hole, letting Dustin Johnson win the hole with a four-footer of his own. The Americans now go back to 2-up with three to go in the DJ/Morikawa vs. Hatton/Casey match. 🇺🇸
11:51 a.m.: Sergio Garcia just hit one of the best shots from the European side of the tournament ... a seed of a fairway wood from about 250 yards out at the par-5 16th to within 5 feet for eagle. With Brooks Koepka finding trouble off the tee, the Europeans have a great shot to go 2-up with two holes to go. Advantage: Team Europe. 🇪🇺
11:46 a.m.: In the back-and-forth third match between Justin Thomas/Jordan Spieth and Viktor Hovland/Bernd Wiesberger, the Americans have won the 14th hole with a par to square this match. That leaves just the leading match as the lone European flag remaining on the board.
11:35 a.m.: OK, back to actual golf ... Paul Casey just holed his approach at the 14th hole for an eagle to put he and Tyrrell Hatton back within one of Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa. The American side was up four through eight -- so to trim this to a one-hole deficit with three to go is huge. Big momentum: Europeans in the second match. 🇪🇺
Now in the final match, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay are sticking it to Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick, winning four of the past five holes to go up 3 up through 11 on the Euros. Big advantage: USA in the final match 🇺🇸
11:28 a.m.: We officially have ourselves some rules drama at the Ryder Cup. Up at 15 in the first match of the morning, Brooks Koepka is looking for relief -- concerned about hurting himself on a wash-out cut-out in a squirrely lie. He asked the walking official, who doesn't think Koepka is entitled to relief, to which the four-time major champion uttered: 'Have you ever seen me hit a ball?' And then: 'Call your buddy,' when asking for a second opinion.
Even Koepka's opponent Sergio Garcia got into Koepka's stance to check it out ... after Sergio spit out his drink at the back-and-forth with the official.
It got so testy -- when the second official, David Price, agreed with the ruling, Koepka was none too happy.
11:15 a.m.: The lead is trimmed to one for the Europeans in the first match after a shocking skulled pitch shot from Jon Rahm at the 14th hole. Even Bones was shocked -- he reported that Rahm's lie was halfway decent in the rough. But it's a U.S. win with a par to trim the deficit to one with four to play. The Spanish Armada needs to hang onto that full point for Team Europe.
11:08 a.m.: Team Europe added a Euro flag to the board with the Hovland/Wiesberger match, but Patrick Cantlay has put him and Xander Schauffele back to 1-up over Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick in the anchor match. Cantlay has been a stone-cold killer at this Ryder Cup. It's tough to rememer him missing a putt over the past two months. This latest one puts the U.S. side up by one as they make the turn. 🇺🇸
11:02 a.m.: One of the biggest developments in the past half hour has been the Justin Thomas/Jordan Spieth reversal in the third match against Viktor Hovland/Bernd Wiesberger. A huge birdie putt at the 10th hole has squared the match after they were 3 down after six holes.
But now they'll give one back to the Americans after Jordan Spieth's tee shot resulted in a fried egg in the bunker at 11. JT had no real room against the lip ... then Spieth tried a third shot ... it's back to a 1-up lead for Team Europe after 11 holes. 🇪🇺
10:56 a.m.: Quick score update for those just checking in:
Rahm/Garcia 1 UP over Koepka/Berger thru 12 🇪🇺
Johnson/Morikawa 4 UP over Casey/Hatton thru 10 🇺🇸
Thomas/Spieth ALL SQUARE with Hovland/Wiesberger thru 10
Schauffele/Cantlay ALL SQUARE with Westwood/Fitzpatrick thru 8
10:43 a.m.: LOT of spice in the JT/Spieth vs. Wiesberger/Hovland match. Here's JT wondering why he had to putt this one out for the tie on the eighth green:
Not long after, at the ninth tee, Wiesberger stared down a fan after hitting his drive. Thomas and Spieth went on to win the hole, shrinking the Euro's lead to 1 up. This would be a daggerous flip for the Euros if Spieth and Thomas can steal that one. Morikawa and DJ are running away, so it already feels like the U.S. has secured a full point. Europe's going to need to win the other two matches and at the very least halve another to make this a competition.
10:30 a.m.: Some serious VAGARIES. Garcia and Rahm looked like they'd win another hole after Sergio put a chip to kick in range at the 10th, but Koepka holes his 20-footer for birdie to halve the hole. In the final match on the course, Xander Schauffele rolls in a long one, too, squaring he and Cantlay's match with Westwood and Fitzpatrick.
10:14 a.m.: Can't believe we're about to say this, but Advantage: 🇪🇺. They now lead in two matches, and the one they are tied in is Garcia/Rahm vs. Koepka/Berger, because Garcia/Rahm have gone on quite a little run. We've already heard "so much can change" on the broadcast countless times today, but it bears repeating. Ninety minutes ago, this thing was over. Now? Europe is throwing blue flags up on the board. They need this session badly and they are playing like it.
9:50 a.m.: Rahm and Garcia have weathered the early Koepka/Berger storm, and now only trail 2 down through seven holes. Casey and Hatton have done the same against Johnson and Morikawa, cutting their lead to 2 up. Hovland and Wiesberger are the only blue flag on the board, leading 2 up through five holes over Thomas and Spieth, who, let's be fair, have looked like the U.S.'s only weakness this weekend. All square in the final match through four. We're not prepared to say Europe has the momentum yet, but it's not looking as dire as an hour ago. Advantage: 🇺🇸 ... for now.
9:09 a.m.: Still early but still somewhat bleak for Europe. Little bit of a break in the action here, so we'll give you a quick scoreboard update:
Koepka/Berger 2 UP over Rahm/Garcia thru four holes
Johnson/Morikawa 3 UP over Casey/Hatton thru three holes
Hovland/Wiesberger 1 UP over Thomas/Spieth thru two holes
Schauffele/Cantlay ALL SQUARE with Westwood/Fitzpatrick thru one hole
8:48 a.m.: Sheesh. Not to be dramatic, but this is getting out of hand. Berger and Koepka are now 3 up through three holes, while Morikawa and DJ just took a 2 up through two holes lead themselves. Back at No. 1, though, Bernd Wiesberger makes birdie to get a European flag on the board. They desperately needed one.
8:32 a.m.: That's two matches off, and we have two American flags on the board early. Dustin Johnson stuck his wedge to within three feet, and Collin Morikawa converts the birdie putt. Paul Casey's birdie putt was from about 35 feet, so it's another early American lead here on Day 2.
And in the first match, Daniel Berger holes another putt for a second straight USA birdie, putting the U.S. up 2 over Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia early.
Oh boy ... and as you can see in the below video, spirits aren't exactly light right now for Team Europe. Advantage: 🇺🇸
8:15 a.m.: Another day, the same result early for the Americans. Daniel Berger rolls in the birdie on the first hole to win the hole for the Americans—they take an early 1-up lead in the match against the European stalwarts Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, the lone Euro duo who are the favorites in their match. The Europeans can't afford to lose that one...
Early advantage: Team USA 🇺🇸
8:05 a.m.: We are off in the first match of the day! Sergio Garcia tees off first again for the Euros in foursomes. And like he did yesterday, he finds a bunker off the first tee, putting some early pressure on Jon Rahm. Daniel Berger stripes it down the middle, so early advantage Team USA.
Brooks Koepka is first to play for the U.S., and his wedge is a strong one—somewhere within 12 feet or so, giving Berger a chance at an early birdie for the U.S.
Jon Rahm from the bunker, sails the green, so Sergio will have a finnicky pitch with not much room on the first hole for the Europeans.
7:55 a.m.: The first tee has some insane energy this morning at Whistling Straits. The overwhelmingly Team USA crowd can sense blood after one of the most memorable days in recent American Ryder Cup memory.
Apparently the crowd was even chanting: "We want Rory," at captain Paddy Harrington. The American fans feel confident ... and probably rightfully so after Friday.
The matches this morning in foursomes:
Match 1: Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger vs. Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia
Match 2: Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton
Match 3: Justin Thomas/Jordan Spieth vs. Viktor Hovland/Bernd Wiesberger
Match 4: Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay vs. Matt Fitzpatrick/Lee Westwood
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