Ryder Cup power rankings: Heroes and Zeros from day 2

We rate each player on their Saturday performance...

Team Europe

Rory McIlroy – 9/10
(Day 1: 7/10)

Played like a man possessed at times and formed a partnership with Thomas Pieters that we’ll no doubt see in France. Played with an energy and passion and looked very comfortable on the greens. Maybe expended a little too much energy in the afternoon but he had the coolest guy at Hazeltine to close out the fourball win.

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Thomas Pieters – 9/10
(Day 1: 7/10)

The new European star. Played some stunning golf and holed his fair share of putts. Even when McIlroy disappeared he stood up and got the job done. It’s just a shame he was paired with Lee Westwood in the Friday foursomes otherwise he could have walked out of Hazeltine with five points.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello – 8/10
(Day 1: 8/10)

A superb debut by the Spaniard and a shame we’ve only seen him twice. Looked very comfortable, was superb off the tee and tidy in all other areas. Helped get the best out of Sergio to come back from four down to get a half with Reed and Spieth in the morning. The decision to bring Kaymer back for the afternoon to play with Sergio was one of Clarke’s mistakes, in my opinion.

Henrik Stenson – 6/10
(Day 1: 8/10)

Did his best to halt the Patrick Reed juggernaut in the fourballs after losing out alongside Matt Fitzpatrick in the morning. That’s three losses for the iceman which seems very harsh considering he has been one of Europe’s best players.

Justin Rose – 6/10
(Day 1: 6/10)

Steered Chris Wood to victory in a good morning for Team Europe. But he’s been a little bit hot and cold on the greens. Other than his driving, Rose’s game hasn’t been in the the best of shape. Could only stand and watch at Reed went nuts in the afternoon fourballs.

Chris Wood – 6/10
(Day 1: 4/10)

Played one, won one must have felt nice for the Bristolian. Again it was a little bit of shame that he only got the one game but Clarke seemed to lean towards experience for most of his pairings throughout the first two days.

Sergio Garcia – 6/10
(Day 1: 6/10)

Played some great stuff to reel in Speith and Reed in the morning but never seemed to get going in the afternoon. Putted very nicely at times in the morning and made you wonder if he could have putted half this well in a couple of Majors… Putter went a bit cold in the afternoon.

Danny Willett – 5/10
(Day 1: 5/10)

You have to feel sorry for Willett after getting paired with arguably Europe’s worst two players each time. He made a few nice putts and even chipped in but was let down by Westwood on 17 and 18 to go pointless in his two outings.

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Matt Fitzpatrick – 5/10
(Day 1:4/10)

Must be tough to not see any action on the opening day. I liked the look of the pairing with Stenson from the outset but it just wasn’t meant to be. I think Fitzpatrick will admit he didn’t play as well as he’s capable of – particularly on the par-5 16th which ended up being the final hole of the match with Snedeker and Koepka, the former with a particularly hot putter.

Lee Westwood – 2/10
(Day 1: 3/10)

Missed too many short putts when it really mattered. Should have come away with at least a half. The missed putt on 14, the missed par putt on 17 and failed birdie attempt from 3ft on 18 handed victory to JB Holmes and Ryan Moore in what looked a bit of a scrappy encounter.

Martin Kaymer – 2/10
(Day 1: 3/10)

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A Ryder Cup to forget for the man who sealed the deal last time out in America. Other than a birdie at the first can’t remember any significant contributions in his as Sergio’s loss to Mickelson and Kuchar – who in fairness did play very well.

Andy Sullivan – DNP
(Day 1: 5/10)

A real shame that Sullivan was not given a run out on Saturday at all. Played well with McIlroy on Friday morning and has every right to feel hard done by when Westwood and Kaymer’s names were both on the team sheet ahead of him.

Darren Clarke – 5/10
(Day 1: 6/10)

Has to take credit for picking Pieters and pairing him with McIlroy. But I think there were a few questionable selections on Saturday. Why bring the Garcia and Kaymer paring back? Why leave out Sullivan all day? Why only one match for Cabrera-Bello who helped turn the tide on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning? Easy to be wise after the event I suppose.

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Team USA

Patrick Reed – 9/10
(Day 1: 7/10)

Stunning. Not sure I’ve ever seen a player more on it. Up there with McIlroy in every aspect of his performance. Carried Spieth over the line in the afternoon, always seemed to hit it close (or in) and barely missed a putt. Up against Rory in the opening singles. Strap yourselves in.

afternoon fourballs

Phil Mickelson – 8/10
(Day 1: 6/10)

Holed some big putts and never looked like losing against Kaymer and Garcia. Seems very happy with how things are going which is a massive plus for Davis Love III. But that dance celebration? A bit like drunk uncles at a wedding.

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Matt Kuchar – 8/10
(Day 1: 6/10)

The perfect foil for Mickelson. Kept lefty calm and relaxed while holing a few massive putts to keep their noses in front.

Brandt Snedeker – 8/10
(Day 1: 7/10)

Usually one of the calmest guys on tour but was really fired up for this. A great foursomes partner for Koepka as he’s just so reliable with the putter in his hand.

Brooks Koepka – 7/10
(Day 1: 8/10)

Great morning with Snedeker but I’m not sure there was much he could have done against McIlroy and Pieters. A solid debut so far and will be a formidable singles opponent.

JB Holmes – 7/10
(Day 1: 3/10)

Another who really comes alive in the Ryder Cup. Made the crucial birdie at 13 which drew him and Ryan Moore level with Westwood and Willett. In fairness it was a match they should never have won.

Jimmy Walker – 5/10
(Day 1: 7/10)

Almost fought back against Rose and Wood but it was too little too late. Looks in decent form now after a shaky opening few holes. I’d expect him to grind out a point in the singles

Zach Johnson – 5/10
(Day 1: 7/10)

Very reliable from six feet but not a player to be feared.

Jordan Spieth – 4/10
(Day 1: 6/10)

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By his own admission he spent much of the afternoon on Patrick Reed’s back. Often terrible off the tee and seemed a bit drained by the end of the day. He was probably worn out from celebrating more than anything else.

Rickie Fowler 4/10
(Day 1: 8/10)

Kicked off the day with a birdie bomb on the first but was followed into the hole by Pieters which killed any early momentum they might have gained. Fought back around the turn but in the end he and Mickelson were well beaten by the better pair

Dustin Johnson – 4/10
(Day 1: 6/10)

Was supposed to be the main man coming into the event but not even the Ryder Cup can seem to get DJ fired up. Talk about being sick of the sight of Rory McIlroy…

Ryan Moore – 4/10
(Day 1: 4/10)

Made an important par on 17 but the match could have been over before then had it not been for JB Holmes. It just goes to show that sometimes you can win a match just by hanging in there and waiting for your opponent to miss.

Davis Love – 7/10
(Day 1: 6/10)

Has managed to keep Phil Mickelson happy which isn’t always an easy thing to do at Ryder Cups. I think the three point lead was more than he would have expected after the morning session and in fairness it was a little bit flattering in the end.

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