rookies played in the Friday morning foursome matches, and each of them -- Daniel Berger, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele -- were part of teams that won.The other two rookies, Harris English and Scottie Scheffler, participated in the afternoon four-ball matches."We had one other group that we were thinking about putting out, but it went so well [Friday] morning that I figured why mess things up and change things up at all," Stricker said.
It was probably a wise decision to rest Morikawa and Brooks Koepka, who were hampered by injuries late in the PGA Tour season, in Friday's afternoon four-ball matches.It's easy to criticize the popular Irishman after the European team's struggles, but two of his pairings in the Friday morning foursomes were perplexing, to say the least.The Europeans won one of four matches in the foursomes and managed two ties in the four four-ball matches."I just think the last couple of matches there, when it was really, really tight, the boys came through, and it certainly felt like we couldn't have afforded [to lose]," Harrington said.
It's only the eighth time in the history of the Ryder Cup that a team had a lead of four points or more after the first day; six of the previous seven teams went on to win, with the exception of Europe at Brookline in 1999.
team's best players on Friday while teaming with Berger, a former Florida State teammate, in a morning foursome, and Schauffele in an afternoon four-ball match.It was the first time DJ went 2-0 on the same day in five Ryder Cup appearances.Johnson had birdies on three straight holes to help he and Schauffele pull away in the four-ball match."Pivotal part of the match," Schauffele said.
Given his recent struggles, however, he has still been pretty good at the Ryder Cup, winning at least two matches in each of his previous four appearances.But McIlroy looked out of sorts on Friday, especially while playing with Poulter in a morning foursome match.McIlroy isn't in the lineup for Saturday morning's foursomes; he played in all five matches in each of the last four Ryder Cups.The Spanish tandem of Rahm and Sergio Garcia was the only European team to earn a point in Friday morning's foursomes, taking down Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, who were expected to be America's strongest pairing.Garcia, 41, tied Nick Faldo with 23 matches won overall, the most in Ryder Cup history.Rahm was nearly as good playing with Hatton in the afternoon four-ball match, rallying from behind to tie a match with DeChambeau and Scheffler.At least Hatton made a 7-foot birdie putt to tie his four-ball match, earning a much-needed half-point for Europe.Earlier this week, he said the influx of youth and six rookies would give the Americans a better chance to win because they didn't have "scar tissue" from losing so many previous Ryder Cups
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