Ryder Cup match previews: Saturday morning Foursomes
September 24, 2021
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- September 24, 2021
Flyover: Whistling Straits
It was a wild day in Wisconsin, one where the home team rode the momentum to a large lead. The United States leads the Ryder Cup, 6-2, after the opening day. According to Justin Ray of Twenty First Group, this is the United States' largest lead after the opening day since 1977, the last Ryder Cup before continental Europe was added to the mix. The Elias Sports Bureau said this is the seventh time that a team has earned six or more points on Day 1. The only time that a team failed to win the Ryder Cup after earning six or more points on Day 1 was in 1999 at The Country Club, where the U.S. mounted a historic comeback.
There are still 20 points remaining, however. Can the United States continue its momentum? Can Europe claw its way back? We’ll have to wait and see.
The U.S. stuck with the tried and true, rolling out the same four teams that went 3-1 in Friday's Foursomes sessions. "it went so well this morning that I figured why mess things up and change things up at all?" said U.S. Captain Steve Stricker. The biggest news from the European side is that Rory McIlroy is sitting out a session for the first time in his career. He went 0-2 on Friday, with both his matches ending after 15 holes.
Until then, let’s look at the pairings for Saturday morning’s Foursomes matches. The United States won Friday’s Foursomes session, 3-1. A repeat performance could put the Cup out of reach, but Europe typically excels in this format.
Here’s are Saturday’s four Foursomes matches, with previews below:
8:05 a.m. ET: Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger vs. Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia
8:21 a.m. ET: Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton
8:37 a.m. ET: Justin Thomas/Jordan Spieth vs. Viktor Hovland/Bernd Wiesberger
8:53 a.m. ET: Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay vs. Lee Westwood/Matt Fitzpatrick
Daniel Berger/Brooks Koepka (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Jon Rahm, 8:05 a.m. Eastern
The victorious pair of Seminoles is back together but they’ll face Europe’s lone victorious team from Friday. Koepka and Berger beat a pair of Englishmen, Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood, in the first Foursomes session. Now they face the indomitable Spaniards, who won Friday’s opening match, beating Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, 3 and 1. The combination of Koepka’s driving (seventh in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee last season) and Berger’s iron play (fifth in Strokes Gained: Approach) could be potent. Garcia and Rahm both ranked in the top three of Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee last season and possess strong iron play.
Player records: Daniel Berger (1-0-0 overall; 1-0-0 Foursomes); Brooks Koepka (5-3-1 overall; 2-1-0 Foursomes); Sergio Garcia (23-12-7 overall; 11-4-3 Foursomes); Jon Rahm (2-2-1 overall; 1-0-0 Foursomes)
Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa (USA) vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton, 8:21 a.m. Eastern
Ever wonder what Morikawa, one of the game’s top iron players, would be like with 30 extra yards? Pretty darn good. That’s why he’s back with Dustin Johnson in Foursomes after they teamed for a 3-and-2 victory on Friday. Morikawa is the shortest hitter on the U.S. Team but led the TOUR in Strokes Gained: Approach. Casey has already seen this show. DJ and Morikawa beat Casey and Hovland, 3 and 2, on Friday, but Casey’s partner will be riding a wave of momentum after holing a big birdie Friday evening to earn a halve against Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler.
Player records: Dustin Johnson (9-9-0 overall; 2-3-0 Foursomes); Collin Morikawa (1-0-0 overall; 1-0-0 Foursomes); Paul Casey (4-5-5 overall; 1-2-0 Foursomes); Tyrrell Hatton (1-2-1 overall; 0-0-0 Foursomes)
Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Viktor Hovland/Bernd Wiesberger, 8:37 a.m. Eastern
Spieth and Thomas were the lone U.S. pair to lose a Foursomes match Friday, but they have a chance for redemption. Spieth sat in the afternoon but Thomas should have confidence after his strong finish to his Four-balls match with Patrick Cantlay. They fought back from a 3-down deficit after eight holes to earn an important tie. Thomas’ 17-foot eagle putt on 16 was key to the comeback against a team that included Hovland. Hovland and Wiesberger, who are both rookies, went winless in three matches Friday.
Player records: Jordan Spieth (7-6-2 overall; 2-2-2 Foursomes); Justin Thomas (4-2-1 overall; 1-2-0 Foursomes); Viktor Hovland (0-1-1 overall; 0-1-0 Foursomes); Bernd Wiesberger (0-1-0 overall; 0-0-0 Foursomes)
Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (USA) vs. Matt Fitzpatrick-Lee Westwood, 8:53 a.m. Eastern
The Schauffele-Cantlay bromance was a highlight on a banner day for the United States. They won their first five holes against one of Europe’s strongest teams, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter, en route to a 5-and-3 win. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Schauffele and Cantlay were the first team to win the first team to win the opening five holes of a Ryder Cup match since the famous Spanish Armada of Jose Maria Olazabal and Seve Ballesteros did it in 1989. Fitzpatrick and Westwood are back together after losing to Koepka and Berger on Friday. Fitzpatrick is now 0-3 in his Ryder Cup career.
Player records: Patrick Cantlay (1-0-1 overall; 1-0-0 Foursomes); Xander Schauffele (2-0-0 overall; 1-0-0 Foursomes); Matt Fitzpatrick (0-3-0 overall; 0-2-0 Foursomes); Lee Westwood (20-19-6 overall; 9-6-4 Foursomes)