Ryder Cup day one: Rory McIlroy backs Europe despite early struggles

The Northern Irishman lost twice in the same day for the first time and did not even reach the 16th hole.

By Press Association Published: 25 September 2021 - 2.38am

Scotland

Golf

Northern Ireland

Rory McIlroy insisted Europe could recover from 6-2 down to retain the Ryder Cup after a nightmare opening day at Whistling Straits.

Padraig Harrington’s side lost both sessions 3-1 and won just one match outright, world number one Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia defeating Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth in the opening foursomes on Friday morning.

McIlroy lost twice in the same day for the first time and did not even reach the 16th hole in defeats alongside Ian Poulter and Shane Lowry, but insisted: “We can come back from 6-2.”

Tyrrell Hatton, who partnered Rahm in the fourballs and brilliantly birdied the 18th to snatch half a point against Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler, added: “You’re never out of the fight. That was obviously huge for the team there at the end and hopefully that can kind of turn the momentum our way.”

Shot of the day

Bryson DeChambeau has been preparing for a long-drive contest immediately after the Ryder Cup and it certainly looked like it on the par-five fifth.

Moment of the day

Jordan Spieth was left in a near-impossible position after team-mate Justin Thomas missed the green on the par-three 17th, but not only produced a stunning recovery but also did superbly well to keep his balance while almost running into Lake Michigan.

Statistic of the day

The omens do not look good for Europe after day one.

Quote of the day

“I knew if it was a little downwind I could take a unique line and I luckily was able to have that wind today. So I just aimed at the green and bombs away.” – Bryson DeChambeau describes his amazing drive on the fifth.

Tweet of the day

Tommy Fleetwood pulled his second shot to the 16th into Lake Michigan and had to settle for half a point in the final match of day one.

What’s next?

Four foursomes matches on Saturday morning and four fourball matches on Saturday afternoon before 12 singles matches on Sunday.

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