Sep
29
2018
Ryder Cup 2018: Europe steamrolls through Saturday
By Stephanie Wei under Ryder Cup

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Dude, we feel you, Tiger. We feel you. Rough couple of days for Tiger Woods and the vast majority of the American players.

As you probably know, the Europeans have a commanding 10-6 lead after Saturday’s fourball and foursomes sessions heading into Sunday’s 12 single sessions. You can check out the line-up here.

So you’re saying there’s still a chance… < > Yes, I have heard about 1999 and I certainly remember Medinah in 2012 because I was there and Sunday was like the most intense and electrifying day of golf I’ve ever witnessed. I know, never say never, but holy shit, if this American team pulls off a comeback tomorrow, then I’ll kiss Bubba Watson’s and Webb Simpson’s feet!

 

Europe kicked things off fast on Saturday morning, with Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari playing like total rockstars together again. I think #Moliwood was trending on Twitter at one point.

Tiger Woods, who hasn’t been able to gain any momentum, had to drag around Patrick Reed with him in the morning, as they lost 4&3 to #Moliwood.

Woods had a chance to redeem himself in the afternoon foursomes session with a new partner Bryson DeChambeau. I walked with the group and it was like fire and ice between Europe and the U.S. Tiger and Bryson just kept exchanging terrible shots and putting each other in the worst spots, which would be anywhere except the fairway.

It was pretty depressing, but on the other hand, Tommy and Molinari were incredibly fun to watch; they have been an awesome duo and put on a fantastic show. The energy out here was nothing short of absolutely electric.

#Moliwood took down Woods/Bryson 5&4. Man, Tiger’s had to play against them THREE times. I guess he’s seen some great golf, but he’s also seen a lot of crap from his partners, too. He just seems tired, which is understandable — he won for the first time in five years, played five straight weeks, this week is exhausting and jetlag sucks.


Now for a quick word about the venue. Le Golf National and Paris have been absolutely great hosts. This week the course has played a much greater role in influencing the outcome of the Ryder Cup than usual. The European Tour players enjoy the course, which is the usual venue for the French Open. It’s the opposite of the average PGA Tour track where you can just bomb and gouge the ball. Le Golf National rewards accuracy, especially off the tee. I mean, holy shit, if you haven’t seen the rough, it’s comparable to the U.S. Open.

Both the American and European captains Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn, respectively, have compared Le Golf National to TPC Sawgrass, though. Speaking to Sky Sports at the start of the afternoon foursome matches, Furyk said it reminded him of Sawgrass, Hilton Head, and courses that he actually enjoys playing.

<<coughJimyoushouldbeplayingandsamewithyourvicecaptainscough>>

Bjorn echoed the same in his presser Saturday evening:

“Well, this golf course reminds me a lot of TPC at Sawgrass,” said the Dane. “That’s not a golf course that — it’s just not a very long golf course. It’s a demanding golf course. You know, when you put the best players on a golf course in the world, you want to see demanding golf courses. You want them to be tested. You’re rewarded by playing well.

“We have played well. We have played well. I feel like we’ve been out on the golf course and done the right things. But you know, it’s such a long marathon, this, and tomorrow there’s 12 points to play for, and that’s what we’ll keep looking at.

“Whatever the golf course is, the golf course is, and it’s what’s in front of us. I’ve never been one to hide from that, I can’t play a golf course. I always believe that when I’m playing my best, I can step on any golf course and compete.”

The Europeans have the advantage of setting up the course to suit them, too. Add the amphitheater-like feeling and the home-game crowd, it’s been an awesome venue. It’s made the best event even better, despite watching the Americans not play their best and get dominated by the Europeans. I guess it’s something I’ve gotten used to, notwithstanding two years ago at Hazeltine. This is my fifth Ryder Cup, so I saw a lot of losing in the first three (but the Miracle at Medinah was beyond special).


Some key notes from Saturday:

*Fleetwood became the first European Tour rookie in Ryder Cup history to win four matches during the opening two days of the event

*If Fleetwood wins another point in tomorrow’s singles match, he will become only the second rookie in Ryder Cup history, and the first European, to win all five of their matches.

*Fleetwood and Molinari have become only the second pairing in the European era of the RC to win four points from their opening matches. The only other duo who have achieved this feat were Americans Larry Nelson and Lanny Wadkins back in 1979.

*Molinari and Fleetwood are a combined 18 under par after 61 holes played together at this Ryder Cup.

*Woods has now lost against #Moliwood in all three of the Ryder Cup matches this year.

*Woods overall Ryder Cup foursomes record is 4-9-1.

*Thank God for Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, the only Americans who have shown a pulse and won half of the total point on the board. Spieth and JT took down Poulter and Rory 4&3. Spieth and Thomas have played all four matches of this Ryder Cup together, winning three and losing just once.


Goodnight and good luck from Paris.