Spaniards Shine As McIlroy And Poulter Struggle

Spaniards Shine As McIlroy And Poulter Struggle

Ryder Cup Day 1 Foursomes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Team USA took control in the morning foursomes on day one of the Ryder Cup. Securing a 3-1 victory in the early stages.

Spaniards Shine As McIlroy And Poulter Struggle

Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm secured the only points for Team Europe in the morning foursomes session, as the Americans took an early 3-1 lead.

Going out in the first group against the intimidating pair of Jordan Spieth (opens in new tab) and Justin Thomas (opens in new tab), the scores remained all-square through six.

Ryder Cup Day 1 Foursomes

Spieth and Thomas went 3-1 at Le Golf National in 2018. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The Spaniards then made classy back-to-back birdies at the 7th and 8th to move 2-up going in to the back nine.

Garcia (opens in new tab), who is the Ryder Cups all-time leading points scorer, was looking to pull alongside Bernhard Langer's foursomes points record, and another birdie at the 10th put the pair 3-up.

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Related: 10 Records That Can Be Broken Or Tied At The 2020 Ryder Cup (opens in new tab)

A birdie at the 13th pulled the scores back to two, before Garcia holed a monster birdie putt at the 15th to move to dormie.

Despite an unbelievable recovery shot by Spieth, who nearly ended up in Lake Michigan in the process, his partner would miss the putt, handing the Spaniards a 3&1 victory and Europe's only point of the session.

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Whilst Rahm and Garcia starred it was a morning session to forget for Ian Poulter (opens in new tab) and Rory McIlroy (opens in new tab), who were actually 5-down after five holes at Whistling Straits. (opens in new tab)

The pair struggled against the in-form Xander Schauffele (opens in new tab) and Patrick Cantlay (opens in new tab), with the American duo three-under-par for the first five holes.

Four halves followed before Poulter and McIlroy staged a mini fightback. Winning the first two holes on the back nine, the Europeans did have to birdie the 12th and 13th just to halve.

Ryder Cup Day 1 Foursomes

Poulter and McIlroy struggled over the Whistling Straits layout. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Any chance of a comeback was soon extinguished though, as yet another birdie from the Americans put the tie out of any doubt, with the debutants securing a 5&3 win over their much more experienced opponents.

In the remaining matches, Collin Morikawa (opens in new tab) and Dustin Johnson (opens in new tab) put on a foursomes exhibition against Paul Casey (opens in new tab) and Viktor Hovland (opens in new tab).

Ryder Cup Day 1 Foursomes

DJ and Morikawa played some superb golf. (Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America via Getty Images)

The American pair gelled together perfectly, producing seven birdies in their 3&2 victory, giving Team USA their first points of the Ryder Cup.

Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka (opens in new tab) and debutant, Daniel Berger (opens in new tab), defeated the English pair of Lee Westwood (opens in new tab) and Matt Fitzpatrick (opens in new tab).

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In a back-and-forth back front nine, the American pair pulled away on the back, with two opening birdies leading to a 2&1 victory.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.


Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.


Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x