The United States team swept Europe in the Friday morning session of the Ryder Cup and took all four available points against the defending champions. The morning session was played in a foursome format, meaning that each team of two golfers alternated holes between players. There were four foursome matched between the United States and Europe, and the United States won all of them.
The U.S. didn’t just squeak by the European pairs, though, they absolutely dominated the competition. Only one of the four matches went down to the final hole. Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed defeated Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson in 16 holes; Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson also defeated Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer in 16 holes; Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar defeated Thomas Pieters and Lee Westwood in only 14 holes. The match between Phil Mickelson/Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy/Andy Sullivan went all 18 holes. The United States pair won three straight holes from 15 to 17 before playing to a tie on the 18th hole to seal the win.
It was the first U.S. sweep of the first session since 1975 when Arnold Palmer was the team’s captain.
The afternoon session will be played in four ball format, in which all four competitors in a match play every hole. The lowest score for each team on each hole is recorded as the team’s score for that hole. The United States will sit Fowler, Mickelson, Johnson, and Walker Friday afternoon, while Europe will sit Chris Wood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Westwood, and Sullivan.
The United States needs 10 more points between Friday afternoon and Saturday to clinch the Ryder Cup.