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US down, 10.5-5.5, in Ryder Cup but not out!

Friday was a day for joy if you are a European team fan in the Ryder Cup! They demolished the US team in all four matches, winning the first four points of the tournament. In the afternoon, the US tried to stage a comeback but the best they could offer was taking 1.5 points, giving the Europe team a commanding 6.5-1.5 lead. One of the largest ever!


But the Saturday outcome wasn’t decided until late Rome time! And the US tried gallantly to force their way back into the picture. As it stands, the score is 10.5 Europe to 5.5 US. Europe needs to grab 4.5 points on Sunday’s singles round.


But Saturday was drama at the highest level in sports.


Saturday AM


It started with the largest margin of victory in a foursome event as the European team of Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg annihilated Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler, 9 with 7 holes left to play. 


Losing the first four holes and the last four was a total embarrassment for the US. Scheffler was visibly distraught. The US wonder team of Max Homa and Brian Harman defeated Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka, 4 & 2.


As the US started to win holes, the European teams needed a spark to reignite the boisterous crowd. Enter…Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.


Rory is the spiritual leader of the European side. With his pointed statements on the LIV golfers, Rory endeared himself to US fans. And on 17, Rory watched his 20 foot birdie find the bottom of the cup and the US team of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth were defeated, 2 & 1. The two close friends on the PGA Tour fought hard but in the end too many missed opportunities doomed the pair.


Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton for Europe had a three hole lead late in their match with Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele. But Xander’s birdie on 13 and 14 after a spectacular approach by Cantlay brought them even.


But Jon Rahm nearly aced the par three 17th leaving his iron to within 3 inches, good to win the hole and the match. The European team finished the morning with three additional points to one for the Americans.


As the afternoon matches began, there was controversy as a social media report surfaced that Patrick Cantlay, one of the few Americans playing well, didn’t wear his USA team golf cap

because he wanted to be paid to play in the event and that he was causing a rift in the US private room.


But the hatless Cantlay would have his revenge this afternoon.


Saturday PM

Going into the afternoon, Europe was up 9.2-2.5. The Americans needed to win at least points on the afternoon sessions.


The first two groups answered the call! Sam Burns, the best putter this week on the US team, and Collin Morikawa grabbed a 4 & 3 win after being up by 6 for most of the back nine.


Max Homa carried his partner Brian Harman to a 2 & 1 win over Europe’s Tommy Fleetwood and Nicolai Hojgaard. They too had a lead (four holes) but were struggling to put away their opponents. It took Homa’s putt on 17 to tie the hole to give them the win.


Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth were destroyed by Justin Rose and his ability to sink just about every putt. That gave Luke Donald’s squad a point. And if they could get the last group of Matt Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy to grab the final point, then Sunday would most likely be a coronation of one of the greatest team wins in the event ever!


Patrick Cantlay


Cantlay and his partner, Wyndham Clark, were down one most of the match. On 11, Cantlay won the short par 4 with a birdie. Rory snaked a birdie putt into 14 to win that hole. Then the fun began!


Cantlay grabbed the 17th with a birdie putt to even the match when it looked like Europe would shut them out.


Then on the 18th, craziness. Cantlay holed a putt to get birdie, forcing Rory to make a difficult putt to tie. But in the celebration of Cantlay’s putt and all the ribbing the fans were giving him regarding the cap incident, Patrick’s caddie while waving his cap in jest back wouldn’t move as Rory tried to line his putt up.



Instead of moving, the caddie engaged Rory, angering the major champion and ultimately  the European team even after the day. In the parking lot as both teams were leaving, Rory was incensed and made it clear to the US team.


So with the win on 18 and the point earned, the US stayed alive in the match. But their road is extremely difficult and they need to start making putts.


We shall see what happens!

I am a math teacher in SW Ohio. Born and raised in NE Ohio, I am married with four sons who keep the flame burning for all things Cleveland. I cover soccer, betting, football and anything that focuses on the human side of sports.

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