Team USA Take Historic Lead Into Ryder Cup Weekend

Team USA Take Historic Lead Into Ryder Cup Weekend

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The American side dominated the first day of the Ryder Cup, taking a 6-2 lead into the weekend.

Team USA Take Historic Lead Into Ryder Cup Weekend

After claiming a 3-1 win in the foursomes (opens in new tab) this morning, team USA would replicate it, dominating the first day proceedings and taking the largest American lead into the weekend since the Ryder Cup switched to include Europe in 1979.

Early indications showed that the fourballs would be a lot closer than the foursomes, with all four pairs staying relatively close throughout the front nine.

That was until Dustin Johnson (opens in new tab) and Xander Schauffele (opens in new tab) picked up back-to-back wins on the 10th and 11th to move to 3-up over Paul Casey (opens in new tab) and Ryder Cup debutant Bernd Wiesberger (opens in new tab).

Ryder Cup Day 1 Fourballs

Schauffele and Johnson kept their 100% records intact. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

With four consecutive holes halved, the Europeans did birdie the 16th to move to dormie two, but the American pair would close out the match with a par at 17th enough for a 2&1 win.

Related:Michael Jordan Seen Supporting Team USA At The Ryder Cup (opens in new tab)

The victory meant that Johnson and Schauffele remained undefeated at Whistling Straits (opens in new tab), after both secured comfortable victories in the morning foursomes.

Not long after, Tony Finau (opens in new tab) and Harris English (opens in new tab) dispatched Rory McIlroy (opens in new tab) and Shane Lowry (opens in new tab) 4&3, with Finau making eight 3's in 15 holes!

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An eagle three for McIlroy at the 5th had put the pair in front, but the Americans controlled the remainder of the contest, claiming five of the next 10 holes to move Team USA in to a 5-1 lead.

With defeat, it's the first time that McIlroy has lost two Ryder Cup matches on the same day, with Harrington being left a tough decision for tomorrow's play.

Ryder Cup Day 1 Fourballs

McIlroy lost 5&3 and 4&3 (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Related: What Next For Rory McIlroy? (opens in new tab)

There was a slight glimmer of hope for Team Europe, as Tyrrell Hatton (opens in new tab) and Jon Rahm (opens in new tab) secured half a point over the pair of Scottie Scheffler (opens in new tab) and Bryson DeChambeau (opens in new tab).

The match included some incredible moments, with the standout being a 417-yard drive (opens in new tab) from DeChambeau on the par-5 5th.

But it was Hatton who held his nerve, with two stunning shots on the 18th leading to a clutch birdie and Europe's first points in the afternoon fourballs.

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In the final match, we saw yet another halve, with Tommy Fleetwood (opens in new tab) and Viktor Hovland (opens in new tab) rueing a costly back nine.

The European Team had been 3-up through 8 holes, but the American pair of Justin Thomas (opens in new tab) and Patrick Cantlay (opens in new tab) came firing back, with a majestic eagle from Thomas on the 16th a highlight.

Ryder Cup Day 1 Fourballs

Cantlay and Thomas bump fists on the 17th tee. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Despite four good drives down the last, none of them could capitalise, with pars sharing the spoils and leaving USA 6-2 ahead going in to the weekend.

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