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Ryder Cup: USA lead Europe 9-3 going into day two fourballs – live!

Ryder Cup: USA lead Europe 9-3 going into day two fourballs – live! thumbnail

USA 11-5 Europe

That’s the end of another long day, and another painful one for Europe. They’re staring down the barrel now, and although nobody ever takes anything for granted in the Ryder Cup, they’ll need to improve on the Miracle of Medinah if they’re to keep hold of their trophy … and this team have never looked capable of anything like that. Pity poor Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, though, who have been clocking up the points in what looks a futile if admirable effort. Thanks for reading this blog. Hope to see you tomorrow for the USA procession!

USA 11-5 Europe

Fleetwood nearly trundles in a chip; Hovland nearly drains his long birdie putt. But it’s too little, too late, and they pick up DeChambeau’s marker. Easy in the end, though that end came quickly with a four-hole salvo.

3&1 Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland (F)

USA 11-5 Europe

They’re extremely unlikely to even get that half now. DeChambeau lashes a sensational tee shot at 17 pin high to six feet. “Golf shot!” says Butch Harmon on Sky, and he knows a thing or two about it. Hovland finds the fringe on the other side of the green, but this looks done and dusted. Let’s be honest, this Ryder Cup is done and dusted. Europe simply don’t have the collective firepower to launch any sort of comeback. Although Simon McMahon has a plan: “Can Rahm and Garcia do the speed golf thing and play six singles each tomorrow?” Is it too late to announce Simon as a vice-captain, Padraig?

A huge moment for the USA on 16. Birdie for Scheffler, and it puts his team dormie two. The minimum requirement for Europe this session – a 3-1 win – isn’t going to happen. Even if Hovland and Fleetwood win the last two holes of the only match still out there, Europe will have to overcome a record second-day deficit if they’re to retain or win the 2020 Ryder Cup.

2UP Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland (16)

USA 10-5 Europe

USA 10-5 Europe

The irrepressible Morikawa birdies 15. McIlroy, who has offered precisely nothing this afternoon, can’t make his 15-footer for birdie of his own, and hands are offered. A rout. Johnson and Morikawa beat McIlroy and Poulter 4&3.

1UP Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland (15)

4&3 Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (14)

USA 10-5 Europe

USA 9-5 Europe

Almost immediately, another point for Europe! Koepka’s attempt to win the hole with birdie at 17 slides by the right of the cup from 15 feet. Both Rahm, who had also found the dancefloor from the tee, and Garcia, who had chipped up close from the fringe, are effectively in for par, so Koepka whips off his cap and offers his hand. Rahm and Garcia beat Koepka and Spieth 2&1.

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 2&1 (F)

1UP Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland (15)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (14)

USA 9-5 Europe

USA 9-4 Europe

It’s Finau’s turn, but English can opt to go first, and he tidies up for his par. Lowry needs to make his putt from 12 feet to secure a precious point for Europe … and he pours it straight into the cup! He yelps in delight; poor English, who pushed him to the limit there, bows his head. What a par from Lowry, though, up and down from distance! Never give up, kids. Lowry and Hatton beat Finau and English 1UP.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (F)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 2UP (16)

1UP Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland (15)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (14)

USA 9-4 Europe

Finau’s wedge int0 18 digs its heels in as it lands on the green. No good. Hatton’s splash out of sand is no good either, duffed out into the fringe. It looks like everything will depend on Lowry and English. English does the Todd Hamilton at the 2004 Open thing, nudging his ball to three feet with a fairway wood. Hatton then goes again, but his chip trundles wide right. So much depends on Lowry’s putt now.

Lowry does his level best to keep himself in the hole at 18. He’s forced to take his medicine having driven into sand, and lays up. But his wedge in lands pin high, and he’ll have a 12-foot look to salvage his par, and most likely, the point. Hatton still has a chance to get up and down from the sand, of course … while Finau could hole out from 50 yards or so and English has his chance from the fringe at the back. Would you rule out anything? You wouldn’t rule out anything, would you.

Finau is short of 18 in two. Much may depend on English, who arrows a long iron from the semi-rough over the flag and onto the fringe at the back of the green. That’s cranked up the stress on Hatton, who from the centre of the fairway finds himself in the position he was yesterday. He sent a heatseeker at the flag then; this time he pulls his second into the bunker on the left. He’ll have a clean lie, but with Lowry also out of position, this is advantage USA … and if they nick a half point, it could be a killer blow!

Rahm has a 30-footer that snakes this way and that. It gently sways right, then left, then in! What a putt, and what a time to make it! Garcia throws his arms open in disbelief as the pair celebrate. Spieth nearly drains his effort from the fringe, but it doesn’t drop, and Europe are dormie two. Incidentally, Poulter and Morikawa have just traded up-and-down birdies from distance on 14. A couple of sensational wedges which are something of an afterthought right now with everything else going on!

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (17)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 2UP (16)

1UP Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland (15)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (14)

USA 9-3 Europe

Ah, Sergio is stuck on a bank out on the right. He clips a gentle wedge over the flag to 12 feet. Rahm hits an average sand shot to 30 feet, and this will be a putting competition from distance, everyone having struggled their way up the hole. Meanwhile over on 15, Scheffler curls in a big left-to-right swinger from 15 feet for the win, blows out his cheeks in a WOW, chest bumps with DeChambeau, and the US hit the front after back-to-back birdies!

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (17)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (15)

1UP Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland (15)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (14)

USA 9-3 Europe

“I didn’t even believe you could hit it!” Sergio seems in awe of Koepka’s smash out of an appalling position up against the lip of a bunker and behind a hedge that finds the centre of the green. Koepka doesn’t seem too sure how he did it either. Still no sign of where Sergio’s ball is, but we know Spieth is down by Lake Michigan. Spieth does what Spieth does, sending a chip 40 yards up the bank, over the flag, and stopping it in the fringe, 15 feet from the hole.

Neither Koepka nor Spieth cover themselves in glory with their seconds into the par-five 16th. Both way left. Rahm however is in sand on the left, and is only able to hoick his second to the other side of the fairway. Where’s Sergio? More on that soon. Meanwhile back on 17, English is only able to fly his chip up from the bottom of the bank and over the green. His next chip stops six feet short. Bogey is the best he can do. Finau is left with a chance to win the hole … and he picks the right line, but doesn’t give the putt quite enough juice. Hatton tidies up for a half, and Europe are guaranteed at least half a point from the lead match.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (17)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (15)

Scheffler/DeChambeau A/S Fleetwood/Hovland (14)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (13)

USA 9-3 Europe

It’s Lowry’s turn at 17, but he’s in such a preposterous spot, his ball hanging off the back of the bank, Hatton elects to putt first. He misses his birdie attempt on the right, and grimaces in anguish. A couple of feet left in that, so Lowry takes an unplayable and tries to chip in. Nope. Over to the Americans.

Finau sends a forensic strike towards the flag at 17. The ball nevertheless rolls an awkward distance past the hole. Maybe 20 feet past. English up next, and he sends his tee shot down the cliff to the left of the green. Hatton sends a high 6-iron 12 feet short, which is doubly good news for Europe because Lowry’s effort topples off the back and instead of falling down the bank, snags in the grass halfway up it! That’ll be quite the test. Meanwhile on 14, Fleetwood looks in prime position for birdie and the win, 12 feet from the flag, but DeChambeau then gets up and down from 80 yards for a three of his own. It spooks Fleetwood into missing, and that’s a classic matchplay smash-and-grab, right there! This session is too close to call. The chance of any sort of drama tomorrow depends on the next hour’s play … like the USA care about that, of course.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (16)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (15)

Scheffler/DeChambeau A/S Fleetwood/Hovland (14)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (13)

USA 9-3 Europe

Some big moments coming up here. English’s chip from the back of 16 rolls past the flag. Lowry cradles his eagle putt to kick-in distance. Birdie conceded. Over to Finau, who strokes in from 12 feet to tie the hole. Meanwhile on 16, Spieth doesn’t quite hit his birdie putt, which dies off to the right at the end. Rahm tidies up, and Europe hit the lead in match two again!

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (16)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (15)

Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland 1UP (13)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (12)

USA 9-3 Europe

Sergio sends his approach over the flag … and just over the back of the green. Over to Rahm, who claps a world-number-one effort to six feet! Huge putts coming up, and with Spieth to go first, he’ll have the chance to land one of those classic matchplay blows. Unless Sergio or Brooks intervene from further out, of course, but, you get the gist.

Lowry and English are both on the par-five 16th in regulation. Well, English may have just toppled off the back into the collar, which is a little harsh given he’d probably played the better shot of the two, Lowry only just squeaking over the bank at the front but rolling pin high to 30 feet. Meanwhile back on 15, Spieth draws a gorgeous second to 12 feet, forcing Garcia and Rahm into action. Can they respond?

Hole halved in three at 12, though – and please remember Europe will be clutching at every available straw – DJ yipped a tiddler for the par, forcing Morikawa to then mop up. A seed of doubt in the big man going forward? With McIlroy and Poulter three down and offering next to nothing by way of counter-attack, they’ll take anything.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (15)

Koepka/Spieth A/S Rahm/Garcia (14)

Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland 1UP (12)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (12)

USA 9-3 Europe

Garcia is this close to draining a 30-foot right-to-left slider on 14 for birdie. Great putt. The only problem is, Koepka was a couple of inches inside him, and has been able to go to school on his work. He learns the line … but doesn’t give it enough welly! The match remains tied. The tension is palpable, despite America’s six-point lead!

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (15)

Koepka/Spieth A/S Rahm/Garcia (14)

Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland 1UP (12)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (11)

USA 9-3 Europe

Scheffler, having missed short right of 12, and with an awful lie, does well to lob up to the fringe at the back of the green. DeChambeau, down the bank at the back, flies the green, finds a pot bunker on the other side, and picks up. Neither Fleetwood nor Hovland look like making their medium-length birdie putts, leaving the door ajar for Scheffler to nick a half from the fringe, but the American’s putt never looks like dropping. Europe take the lead again.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (14)

Koepka/Spieth A/S Rahm/Garcia (13)

Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland 1UP (12)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (11)

USA 9-3 Europe

Neither Scheffler nor DeChambeau can find the green at the par-three 12th. Both Fleetwood and Hovland find the dancefloor, but they’re not particularly close. Still, advantage Europe. Meanwhile up on 13, Garcia and Rahm take turns to guide chips in for birdie from the fringe. Nope. Over to Koepka, who having blootered a monster drive down the track, sets himself up with a 12-footer for birdie. No problem. It goes straight in, and the US are on a roll in this second match. Having been three down through 7, they’re back to all square. Europe, who need a minimum of three points in this session to have any realistic chance of pulling things around tomorrow – 10-6 the record singles comebacks of 1999 and 2012 – need to dig deep now.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (14)

Koepka/Spieth A/S Rahm/Garcia (13)

Scheffler/DeChambeau A/S Fleetwood/Hovland (11)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (10)

USA 9-3 Europe

Updated

English knocks his second into 14 dead. It means either Lowry or Hatton will have to sink birdie putts from the best part of 40 feet to halve the hole and keep hold of the lead they’ve had since the 3rd hole. Lowry’s stops apologetically short … but Hatton sends a carpe-diem tramliner into the centre of the cup at warp speed! What a putt! Europe keep their noses in front … just. How big could that be? So much depends on the next couple of hours. Sunday depends on the next couple of hours.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (14)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (12)

Scheffler/DeChambeau A/S Fleetwood/Hovland (11)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (10)

USA 9-3 Europe

Fleetwood needs to sink a 15-foot par putt on 11 to halve the hole. So much is in the balance now, with Europe teetering on the brink. He absolutely rattles it into the back of the cup. A sign that Fleetwood has decided to come out swinging.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (13)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (12)

Scheffler/DeChambeau A/S Fleetwood/Hovland (11)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (10)

USA 9-3 Europe

Poulter clanks a chip off the flag from 70 yards at 10. It nearly drops for eagle … but doesn’t, and that ends up costing Europe, because Morikawa screws his second to kick-in distance as well. A share of the spoils, but for a second, if Poulter’s eye-bulging celebration was anything to go by, Europe thought they’d reduced their arrears.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (13)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (12)

Scheffler/DeChambeau A/S Fleetwood/Hovland (10)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (10)

USA 9-3 Europe

The US are coming right at Europe now, with extreme prejudice. If Europe don’t get their act together, and quick, this Ryder Cup will be all over bar the shouting, of which there will be plenty with these fully lubricated and understandably giddy patrons. Perhaps they’ll get some succour from the massive let-off they’ve just had at 12, Spieth’s birdie putt threatening to drop, popping back up, looping the loop, a full 360, and somehow staying up stubbornly on the lip. Pace did for that, though he hit it so straight and true it’s a wonder that it didn’t topple in. Awful luck for Spieth.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (13)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (12)

Scheffler/DeChambeau A/S Fleetwood/Hovland (10)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (9)

USA 9-3 Europe

Absolute bedlam at the par-three 12th, as Spieth sends his tee shot to ten feet, while both Garcia and Rahm dunk their efforts in the bunker to the right. The door flapping open here. The Spaniards were three up not so long ago; there’s a fair chance they’ll be hauled back to all square soon, with a third loss in five. Meanwhile on 13, Hatton and Lowry send distinctly average approaches into the green from pole position; Finau trundles in a putt from the fringe, and the US win their first hole in the opening match.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 1UP (13)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (11)

Scheffler/DeChambeau A/S Fleetwood/Hovland (10)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (9)

USA 9-3 Europe

I’d neglected to mention DeChambeau on 10. That’s because he’d pulled his drive miles left, then nearly sent his chip up over the other side of the green. Well, more fool me. He drains the 30-footer for birdie he leaves himself, and it’s enough to win the hole, neither Fleetwood nor Hovland getting up and down from 20 yards or so. Hovland had a brief run-in with a photographer before chunking a chip; he’ll need to simmer down after that blow.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 2UP (12)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (11)

Scheffler/DeChambeau A/S Fleetwood/Hovland (10)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (9)

USA 9-3 Europe

Rahm is this close to chipping in from the side of 11. He’ll have to settle for par, but it’s enough for the half. Scheffler also goes very close with his wedge, opening it up wide and tossing a Mickelsonesque lob to three feet from a tricky position down a bank at 10. He’ll surely make birdie, so it’s over to Hovland and Fleetwood, who are both chipping in from 20 yards or so.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 2UP (12)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (11)

Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland 1UP (9)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (8)

USA 9-3 Europe

Finau nearly holes out from the fringe at the side of 12. That clears the way for Hatton to win the hole, but his birdie putt breaks to the right on its final turn and the chance to go three holes clear passes by.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 2UP (12)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (10)

Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland 1UP (9)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (8)

USA 9-3 Europe

Hovland knocks in his birdie putt at 9, and deservedly puts Europe in the lead as the players hit the turn. Hatton pearls his tee shot at 12 pin high to ten feet, and with Finau right and English left, is in pole position at the par-three. But Europe are now three down now in the final match, with McIlroy and Poulter quite frankly all over the shop at 8. They’ve both been extremely disappointing this week, and neither man gives the impression he’s likely to spark into life soon.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 2UP (11)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (10)

Scheffler/DeChambeau v Fleetwood/Hovland 1UP (9)

3UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (8)

USA 9-3 Europe

Another fine approach by Tyrrell Hatton, and this time he gets the opportunity to putt. Having sent his second at 10 over the flag to 12 feet, he strokes in for birdie, one of those putts that was always dropping from the moment it left the face … and suddenly Europe are two up in the lead match! But it’s a winning birdie for Koepka at the 10th, Rahm’s effort having lipped out on the left from ten feet.

Finau/English v Lowry/Hatton 2UP (11)

Koepka/Spieth v Rahm/Garcia 1UP (10)

Scheffler/DeChambeau A/S Fleetwood/Hovland (8)

2UP Johnson/Morikawa v
McIlroy/Poulter (7)

USA 9-3 Europe

DeChambeau sends his second straight across the fairway and into the hazard down the right. Fleetwood also flashes into bother, over the back, so when Scheffler finds the back fringe of the green with his awkward approach over a tree, the pressure is turned up on Hovland. The young Norwegian responds in real style, though, carefully landing his second pin high, leaving a six-footer for birdie! That’s quite magnificent, and a real chance for Europe to claim a second hole in a row.

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