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The Roundup

The Roundup: Moliwood

by Josh Culp
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Morning Fourballs: The Americans started the session with a 2-point deficit but it likely felt like a bigger hole after getting swept during the Friday afternoon session. 

It was more domination from the home team this morning as they won three of the four matches. 

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia birdied five of the opening eight holes to take a 4-up lead and they never looked back, even though Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka won three of the final four holes to make it interesting at the end. 

Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton birdied six of their last 10 holes during the Friday morning loss to Spieth and Thomas. They built on that momentum and circled birdies on 9-of-16 holes today. That was good for a 3-and-2 win over Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler who struggled out of the gate but played steady golf overall. They were just outmatched today by the Englishmen. 

Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed had a chance to redeem themselves after a Friday loss, but they really struggled today against Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood (MOLIWOOD). Together, the Americans combined for just three birdies while swallowing two bogeys along the way. That would be alright if they were playing alternate shot, but this was fourball. Tiger Woods is now 5-10-0 in fourballs at the Ryder Cup. 

Lastly, we saw the Americans stop the bleeding with Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth winning 2-and-1 over Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm. The Europeans had won eight straight matches before this. 

Afternoon Foursomes:
  The Europeans had a nice cushion to work with but they weren't ready to give any points away. 

Europe led off with the long-time successful duo of Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. They made a lot of clutch putts en route to a 2-and-1 victory over the bash brothers, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson. Stenson and Rose are now 6-2-0 as a team in Ryder Cup competition. 

Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren were unbeatable on Friday but they couldn't find that magic today. Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson took full advantage by winning five of the first eight holes and then held on for a relatively easy win. 

Tiger Woods tried to earn his first point of the week as he paired up with Bryson DeChambeau. They failed to record a single birdie until the 10th hole. Molinari and Fleetwood were their opponents and they became the first European pairing to ever go 4-0-0 as a pairing in a single Ryder Cup. Three of those wins have come against Tiger Woods this week (Woods and Reed x2, Woods and DeChambeau x1). 

In the anchor match, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth maintained their momentum from this morning's victory. They birdied six holes in a 14-hole match against Euro stars Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy. Spieth is now 7-4-2 in his Ryder Cup career but he remains winless in singles (0-2-0). He'll likely need to change that tomorrow if Team USA has a chance to overcome this big hole they're in. 

Leaderboard: Team Europe 10 points ; Team USA 6 points

Sunday Weather Forecast 

Temperatures remain on the cool side (upper-50s to low-60s) for the final day. 

Wind doesn't look to be as big of a factor on Sunday as it's forecasted around 7-to-10 MPH with gusts staying below 15 MPH. 


Paul Casey: "Like you said, it's been ten years. Desperately wanted to be back on this team because I know how good it is. I mean, all these guys are amazing, and you know, once you're a Ryder Cupper, you're always a Ryder Cupper. I can't tell you how proud I am, seriously proud of this guy, as well. I got going on the front nine, but he was right there to back me up like every great partner does, and making birdies what I wasn't even in the holes."

Thomas Bjorn: "Rory, sometimes you get a little bit easy with him; you can think he can do anything he wants. We saw some great things with him and Thomas Pieters last time and that was brilliant.

But he likes playing with guys that he knows very well and he gets on with, and I think yesterday he needed that day on the golf course yesterday afternoon. He was great this morning and now he goes again. The good thing with Rory is you know his fitness is not going to be a problem."

Tiger Woods: "The three matches we played, they never missed a putt inside ten, 12 feet. That's hard to do. Playing against a team like that, that's putting that well, you're going to have to make a lot of birdies, and we didn't."

Thomas Bjorn: "We've got to take all that in, and you look at Brookline, Medinah, plenty of examples of these score lines not meaning a lot until you get to singles. Just keep going. Keep going hard, keep going with what we've got, and you know, I've seen too many times what the singles does.

It's a completely different game tomorrow and that makes a lot of refocusing and getting back into that team room and recover. We used a lot of energy these days. We go again tomorrow. Try and focus on what's ahead."

Road to Victory - The Ryder Cup

2016 USA winning 9.5 to 6.5 after day two
2014 Europe winning 10 to 6 after day two
2012 Europe losing 6 to 10 after day two
2010 Europe losing 4 to 6 after day two (weather-shortened); winning 9.5 to 6.5 heading into Monday singles
2008 USA winning 9 to 7 after day two

Notes: Nine is the magic number as four of the last five winning teams had 9 or more points heading into singles. You could go back two more editions and say six of the last seven winning teams had 9+ points heading into singles. That's good news for the Europeans but don't count out the Americans just yet. We can look at the 2012 edition at Medinah as an example when the Europeans won 8 singles matches to overcome a big deficit. They trailed 6-to-10 leading into singles and that is exactly where the Americans currently stand. 

Focus On - Captain's Picks

There was a lot of pre-event hype on captain's selections. 

The Americans mixed experience (Tiger, Phil) with form (Finau, Bryson). 

The Europeans ignored form and went straight to Ryder Cup experience (Stenson, Casey, Poulter, Sergio). 

With 16 matches now in the books, we see the American picks are 1-7-0 while the Euros are 5-3-0. I guess experience does pay off, assuming it's a positive experience which was the case with all of Europe's picks. 

Josh Culp
Josh Culp joined Rotoworld in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.