GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy (AP) — Rory McIlroy says the Europeans will not be complacent after their “amazing” Day 1 at the Ryder Cup.
McIlroy was the only player to win two points as Europe built a 6 1/2-1 1/2 lead.
“The fact that the Americans didn’t win a full point was incredible,” McIlroy said, “and just shows the heart, grit and determination that the European team has.”
He added that “it’s a great start but we can’t rest on our laurels. We need to go out there and try and win tomorrow’s morning session and keep increasing our lead.”
Europe tied its best start to a Ryder Cup by taking a 6 1/2-1 1/2 lead on Day 1 in its bid to reclaim the gold trophy from the Americans.
Justin Rose and Robert MacIntyre won the last two holes in the final match of the afternoon fourballs to earn a tie with Max Homa and Wyndham Clark.
The U.S. team didn’t win a match all day at Marco Simone, only claiming a half-point in three of the fourballs. They were swept by Europe for the first time in the opening session.
The Europeans have only held such a lead heading into Day 2 in 2004 in Oakland Hills. They went on to win that Ryder Cup 18 1/2-9 1/2.
Jon Rahm made eagle at two of the last three holes to earn another half-point for Europe at the Ryder Cup.
After chipping in from thick rough for a 2 to win the hole at the par-4 16th, Rahm rolled an eagle putt at No. 18 that went up the hill, hit the back of the cup and bounced into the hole.
It earned Rahm and Nicolai Hojgaard a tie against Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka in a second straight match that reached the last hole.
Europe leads 6-1 with one fourballs match out on the course.
The United States are off the mark at the Ryder Cup.
Justin Thomas played the lead role in his pairing with Jordan Spieth down the stretch and rolled in a birdie putt from 6 feet at No. 18 to tie their thrilling match with Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton.
Still, the Americans, who were swept in the morning foursomes, are facing a big deficit heading into Day 2 after Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele lost 5 and 3 to Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick.
Europe leads 5 1/2-1/2 with two fourballs matches out on the course. The U.S. lead both of them.
Matt Fitzpatrick seems intent on ending his losing streak at the Ryder Cup.
The former U.S. Open champion poured in putts totaling 60 feet to help him and Rory McIlroy build a 4-up lead after five holes against Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele, then hit an approach to 4 feet to win another hole at No. 6.
McIlroy was reduced to a spectator’s role by that point — he simply laughed and applauded Fitzpatrick after his partner’s 12-foot putt for eagle dropped at No. 5 — but helped out by making birdie at the seventh hole to put the Europeans 6 up.
Fitzpatrick has lost all of his previous five matches at a Ryder Cup, in 2016 and 2021 when Europe was the visiting team. This is his first time playing fourballs.
The other three fourballs were much closer.
Max Homa and Wyndham Clark were the guys most likely to put a point on the board for the U.S. team after going 2 up against Robert MacIntyre and Justin Rose after nine holes.
Mark this down: The Ryder Cup officially began Friday at 7:35 a.m. Six hours and 25 minutes later, at 2 p.m. local time, the Americans had their first lead in any match.
Europe dominated the morning foursomes so thoroughly that no match made it 18 holes and the United States never led in any of them. It was shaping up the same way in the afternoon fourballs as Europe had early leads.
And then it happened! Jordan Spieth chipped in on the par-3 fourth hole to square the match, and Justin Thomas holed an 8-foot birdie putt at No. 6 for a 1-up lead.
And then Viktor Hovland made birdie on the next hole, and the match was all square again. For the Americans, it was nice while it lasted.
Europe is ahead in two fourballs matched, the other two are tied.
The star of the afternoon is Matt Fitzpatrick, who is making everything. Fitzpatrick and McIlroy are 4-up after five over Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele. It’s worth noting that while this is Fitzpatrick’s third Ryder Cup, this is his first time playing fourballs. He has never won a match. That looks like it might change.
U.S. captain Zach Johnson is counting on the veteran partnership of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas to spark a comeback in afternoon fourballs at the Ryder Cup after Europe swept the morning session 4-0.
Spieth and Thomas will face Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton in the opening match of the day’s second session.
Brooks Koepka will also get his first action in a pairing with Scottie Scheffler against Jon Rahm and Nicolai Hojgaard.
The third match features Max Homa and Wyndham Clark against Robert MacIntyre and Justin Rose. The last match has Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele against Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick.
All 12 players on both teams will have played by the end of the day.
Europe made its best ever start to a Ryder Cup, sweeping the opening foursomes 4-0 in a stunning response to its record loss to the Americans at Whistling Straits two years ago.
Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood completed the morning shutout at the Marco Simone club by winning the heavyweight final match 2 and 1.
Minutes earlier, Sepp Straka tapped in at the par-3 17th to secure a 2-and-1 victory with Shane Lowry over Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa.
The U.S. was never ahead in any match. None of the four matches got to the 18th hole, making it one of the most dominant sessions ever at a Ryder Cup.
The Europeans are halfway to a blowout in the opening foursomes at the Ryder Cup.
They now lead 2-0 after Viktor Hovland and rookie Ludvig Åberg secured a 4-and-3 win over Max Homa and Brian Harman in the second match out.
Europe has never won every match of the opening session at a Ryder Cup. The Americans swept the Friday morning foursomes at Hazeltine in 2016.
Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton have put the first point on the board at the Ryder Cup for Europe.
It was a blowout, too, as Europe’s fiery pairing won 4 and 3 in the lead match against Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns on a day when blue was filling the boards at the Marco Simone club.
The anchor match had been the closest but Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood have moved 2 up against Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.
Europe is at least 2 up in every remaining match.
The Europeans are in position to sweep the opening session of the Ryder Cup for the first time.
Europe is at least 3 up in three matches and 1 up in the other against the favored Americans in the foursomes, a traditional strength of the European team.
In the lead match, Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton are 4 up on top-ranked Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns after 12 holes and could soon clinch the first point of the Ryder Cup. Rahm got one of the biggest cheers of the morning by chipping in from off the green to halve the 10th hole.
The Scandinavian pairing of Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Åberg are 3 up against Max Homa and Brian Harman after 11 holes. Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka have the same lead after 10 holes against Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa.
The anchor match is giving the Americans the most hope. It is through nine holes, with Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay reducing the deficit to Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy to 1 down.
All the foursomes matches are on the course. All the boards are filled with European blue.
Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton are 2 up in their match with Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns. Rahm holed a birdie putt from off the green at No. 2 and he nearly made a hole-in-one on the par-3 seventh hole when his tee shot struck the base of the pin.
The excitement has come from Viktor Hovland. The Norwegian star holed a brutally tough pitch off a tight lie on the fringe and over a ridge at the first hole. He hit the pin on another chip. And then he hit a chip that stayed in the rough.
Europe was up in three of the matches. The anchor match is tied through two holes. That one has the most star power — Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood against Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay. The American tandem has never lost in foursomes.
Fleetwood went 4-0 in France with Francesco Molinari, the famous “Moliwood” partnership. Now he’s part of Fleetwood Mac.
Two of golf’s best players finally got the sport’s biggest spectacle started Friday at the Ryder Cup.
Scottie Scheffler, the world’s No. 1 player, hit the opening tee shot at Marco Simone, the golf ball disappearing in a thick collar of rough down the left side of the fairway. Masters champion Jon Rahm found the right side of the fairway.
Anticipation from the two-year wait was evident in the pre-dawn darkness as thousands upon thousands of fans poured through the gates. And it didn’t take long for the home crowd to remind the Americans they weren’t in the comfort of home.
“You stink, Scottie,” one fan shouted as he was about to tee off. Another told Sam Burns to lay up when he was playing from the rough. That’s nothing unusual from home fans at a Ryder Cup, the most raucous event in golf.
The Americans are coming off a 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits two years ago. They have not won on European soil since 1993.
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