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Europe facing uphill battle as USA race into early Ryder Cup lead

McIlroy/Lowry lose 4&3 to Finau/English as USA take 6-2 lead.

Johnson and Schauffele beat Casey and Wiesberger 2&1.
Johnson and Schauffele beat Casey and Wiesberger 2&1.
Image: Ashley Landis

USA 6-2 Europe

THE UNITED STATES took an early 6-2 lead against Europe on the opening day of the Ryder Cup, thanks in part to a 3-1 edge in the afternoon’s fourballs session.

The Americans, boasting nine of the world’s 11 top-ranked players, went 3-1 in the morning’s foursomes matches at Whistling Straits.

World number two Dustin Johnson, last year’s Masters winner, and Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele never trailed in defeating Europe’s Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger 2&1.

Americans Tony Finau and Harris English birdied to win the eighth, ninth and 10th holes for a 3-up lead and rolled over Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry 4&3.

It’s the first time McIlroy has lost two Ryder Cup matches on the same day.

England’s Tyrrell Hatton sank a seven-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to leave himself and top-ranked Jon Rahm tied with Americans Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler. Neither duo led by more than 1-up in the match.

Europe’s Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland tied with US PGA playoff champion Patrick Cantlay and US compatriot Justin Thomas.

The United States needs 14.5 points to win the Ryder Cup while Europe needs 14 points to retain the trophy. The Europeans have won nine of the past 12 Ryder Cups and four of the past five.

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© – AFP, 2021

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