Europe has the lead; U.S. has the momentum entering Sunday singles at Ryder Cup
“We’ve got a chance!”
That was the American rally cry after Patrick Cantlay helped the U.S. win the Saturday fourballs and cut its deficit entering Sunday singles.
The U.S. won the afternoon session, 3-1, and now trails Europe, 10 ½ to 5 ½, with 12 individual matches to be contested on the final day at Marco Simone.
Here’s how the best-ball action played out Saturday outside of Rome, Italy.
Match 13: Sam Burns/Collin Morikawa (U.S.) def. Viktor Hovland/Ludvig Aberg (EUR), 4 and 3
Coming off a record 9-and-7 win in the morning foursomes, Hovland and Aberg looked unbeatable. Burns and Morikawa, however, had no design on being sacrificial lambs.
When Burns made this birdie at the sixth, he not until took his team to 3 up, he taunted the crowd, which was making fun of his mullet.
The Euros had no response. But Morikawa did.
The two-time major champ birdied the ninth, birdied the 11th and eagled the 12th to go 6 up. After failing to close it out at the 13th and 14th holes, the U.S. ended it on No. 15.
Match 14: Max Homa/Brian Harman (U.S.) def. Tommy Fleetwood/Nicolai Hojgaard (EUR), 2 and 1
Homa and Harman picked up the lone American win in the first Saturday session, and they teamed again in the second – with the same impressive result.
Homa made four birdies in his first six holes to give the U.S. a 3-up advantage, which increased to 4 up by the turn.
After losing the 10th hole to birdie, Homa won the par-5 12th with eagle and then thwarted a European rally by first making birdie to tie No. 13
And then holing this shot from off the green to halve the 15th.
Though Europe won the 14th and 16th holes, Homa was able to par the 17th to tie the hole and take the match.
Match 15: Justin Rose/Bob MacIntyre (EUR) def. Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (U.S.), 3 and 2
In a match full of emotion – and importance – Rose riled up the crowd after a birdie at the sixth to draw even.
That was followed by Thomas getting a mindboggling break at the seventh, en route to making birdie and retaking a 1-up edge.
It was Rose’s turn, again, at the 10th, making birdie to give Europe its first lead in the match. MacIntyre then did his part with a birdie at the 13th to give his side a 2-up lead.
Rose put them 3 up with a birdie at No. 13 and MacIntyre kept that edge with a clutch par save at the 15th. After an odd exchange on the 16th tee, in which Spieth talked to captain Zach Johnson and then dialed back to a 3-wood on the drivable par 4, ultimately hitting it into the water, Rose put the nail in the coffin with a birdie.
Match 16: Patrick Cantlay/Wyndham Clark (U.S.) def. Rory McIlroy/Matt Fitzpatrick (EUR), 1 up
McIlroy and Fitzpatrick – foursomes winners on Friday – won the fourth hole and stayed out front until Cantlay and Clark knotted it up with a birdie at the 11th.
Fitzpatrick played his first six holes in 6 under on Day 1 but wasn’t as sharp on Saturday. With the Englishman going O.B. at the par-4 14th, McIlroy made birdie to regain a 1-up lead with four to play.
While this match was going on, there was a lot of social media chatter that Cantlay was forging a hat in protest of players not getting paid to participate in the Ryder Cup. But he showed no signs of distraction as he made a putt to tie the 16th hole and then birdied the 17th to even the match.
He closed his run with a 43-foot birdie at the 18th to win the hole and the match, his teammates showing support by waving their hats.