Ryder Cup 2021: Saturday pairings for the Europe and United States; Rory McIlroy out for first time in Ryder Cup career
By Joel Beall
HAVEN, Wis.—Padraig Harrington and the Europeans need to turn the tide, and do so quickly Saturday at Whistling Straits.
They will look to a pair of Spaniards to move Big Mo in their direction.
After coming out on the business end of Thursday 6 to 2, the Europeans have pegged Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia—the only team to win a full point on Friday—to run it back in foursomes Saturday morning as the first group out. They will take on Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger; the former Florida State teammates took down Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick in Friday’s foursomes.
Westwood and Fitzpatrick are also back together Saturday, this time facing Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay in the anchor match. Sandwiched between is Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa against Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton, and Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth battling Viktor Hovland and Bernd Weisberger.
Notably absent is Rory McIlroy, who is sitting out his first session in his Ryder Cup career. McIlroy lost both of his matches on Friday, and has scored just two points in his last eight Ryder Cup matches going back to 2016.
The Americans will be looking to win their third Ryder Cup in their last four home appearances, while a victory for Team Europe would be their eighth in the last 10 events.
Saturday Morning Foursomes
7:05 a.m.: Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger vs. Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia
Commentary: There will be no shortage of swagger in this group … Rahm is the only one that played two matches in this group; his energy level will be something to monitor once this group hits the second nine.
7:21 a.m.: Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton
Commentary: Casey is a veteran and Harrington doesn’t have a ton of options. Still, that Casey is back out after a poor Friday is somewhat of a shock … DJ has a shaky record in the Ryder Cup, but Friday was as comfortable as he’s looked in the event. If that continues Saturday, this ballgame may be over.
7:37 a.m.: Justin Thomas/Jordan Spieth vs. Viktor Hovland/Bernd Weisberger
Commentary: This is a match that looks good for the U.S. on paper, but Hovland was one of the lone bright spots for Europe on Friday … Spieth was the only American not to score Friday. Don’t overlook that incentive for he and Thomas to cash in.
7:53 a.m.: Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay vs. Matt Fitzpatrick/Lee Westwood
Commentary: If there’s one worry here for the Americans it’s that both Schauffele and Cantlay played twice on Friday. Westwood and Fitzpatrick played well together in Day 1; don’t be surprised if they steal one here for the Euros.