Europe in dire straits as USA romp to 9-3 lead

by Ronan MacNamara  

Padraig Harrington by Golffile

Pádraig Harrington’s European side went down 3-1 in the Saturday morning foursomes session once again to trail the USA 9-3 with two sessions to play.

At one stage the away side were up in two, down in one and all-square in one as it seemed like they were about to claw their way back into the 43rd Ryder Cup.

But while Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia produced a sensational fightback from three down with as many holes played, their teammates were floundering on the back nine.

Rahm and Garcia pulled off a brilliant 3&1 victory over Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger to claim Europe’s second full point of the contest and their second point as a pair to reduce the deficit to 6-3.

But there was little to cheer about in truth with the remaining three matches all swinging the way of Steve Stricker’s side.

The US came out flying once again winning the first five holes of the opening two matches before Bernd Wiesberger’s birdie on the first in match three stopped the bleeding.

Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa quickly restored the USA’s four-point advantage with a 2&1 win over Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton.

The European pair fought back well from 4dn through 10 to reduce the arears to the minimum thanks to Casey’s stunning eagle from the 14th fairway.

Victor Hovland and Bernd Wiesberger relinquished a 2UP lead to go down 2UP against an inspired Justin Thomas who was alongside Jordan Spieth.

The US moved 8-3 in front courtesy of that comeback win.

The wait for Matt Fitzpatrick’s first Ryder Cup point goes on as he and Lee Westwood let slip a lead around the turn as they ran out 2&1 losers to Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele to leave Europe 9-3 adrift and facing an embarrassing defeat.

Westwood is without a Ryder Cup point since Gleneagles in 2014 and is six matches without a win which shows what Harrington has at his disposal.

Westwood and Fitzpatrick have certainly been the whipping boys of the team and the foursomes result will raise more questions over Harrington’s decision to leave Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood on the sidelines this morning.

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