The United States took a dominant 4-0 lead over Europe after the opening foursomes of the Ryder Cup.
Here’s how the matches unfolded.
SPIETH/REED BT ROSE/STENSON 3&2
The two Americans were one of Tom Watson’s few successes at Gleneagles, winning two and a half points from three there two years ago, and took up where they left off then by claiming a notable scalp. The European pair had been Paul McGinley’s star partnership in Perthshire, winning three out of three, but they just never clicked on this occasion, whereas their opponents were on fire. Reed and Spieth were four-under for the holes played, clinching victory in style with a birdie at the 16th.
D JOHNSON/KUCHAR BT WESTWOOD/PIETERS 5&4
This American pairing secured two points for Davis Love at Medinah four years ago and the decision to reunite them – Johnson missed out at Gleneagles in 2014 due to serving a PGA Tour ban – was vindicated straight away. Admittedly helped by a poor performance from their opponents – Westwood was badly out of sorts while rookie Pieters looked nervous – they quickly went two up and had the point in the bag from the moment that lead increased to five after just seven holes.
Z JOHNSON/WALKER BT GARCIA/KAYMER 4&2
Paired together for the first time, Garcia and Kaymer edged ahead at the second in a somewhat nervy affair and still led narrowly with seven holes to go. However, the Americans then won five holes in a row from the 12th – three of them with birdies – to take the remaining bit of blue from the scoreboard in the morning. Johnson later admitted that a par putt holed by his partner at the ninth to stop them going two down had been the catalyst for the turnaround.
FOWLER/MICKELSON BT MCILROY/SULLIVAN ONE HOLE
The European duo were going along nicely in this one, leading by two holes, until McIlroy’s approach at the seventh caught a tree and ended up in a hazard. They still looked to be on course for a point, standing two up with five to play, before a costly three-putt at the 15th. That allowed the Americans to draw level again in a real topsy-turvy affair before they also won the next two holes. Mickelson made up for a wild drive with a brilliant approach at the 16th before Sullivan found water at the next.