So much happened on day two of the 2023 Ryder Cup, so we have summarised the day’s play from Marco Simone Golf and Country Club…
It is difficult to watch every angle at the Ryder Cup with action from all corners of Marco Simone Golf and Country Club – so let us keep you up to speed in our daily report…
So what happened?
Any suspicion of Team Europe taking their foot off the gas was quickly dashed in the Saturday foursomes.
The first European pair done and dusted was Ludvig Aberg and Viktor Hovland who destroyed Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka 9&7 – the biggest deficit in an 18-hole match in Ryder Cup history.
Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood followed them in with a crucial 2&1 victory over Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth – the pair it was important to keep quiet for the blue and gold side.
Despite their partnership flourishing on Friday, Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka were taken down 4&2 by Max Homa and Brian Harman who won America’s first full point of the week.
Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton lost holes 12, 13, and 14 to surrender their 3-up lead, but they birdied the 16th hole before Rahm almost made a hole-in-one on 17 to take the match 2&1.
In the afternoon session, Aberg and Hovland were brought back down to earth as they were six down with six to play to Sam Burns and Collin Morikawa.
Despite keeping the match above water for three more holes, the American duo won 4&3 and brought the scores back to 9.5-3.5.
Homa and Harman won both of their matches on Saturday, taking down Fleetwood and Nicolai Hojgaard 2&1 in session two. The rookie pair remained a small but significant beacon light for the United States.
When the afternoon draw came out, America could’ve seen Spieth and Thomas versus Rose and MacIntyre as a chance for red, and this was the case after eight holes.
But four birdies between the Team Europe pair led to a 3&2 win and more heaped misery on America’s once-dominant pair.
In the final match, Patrick Cantlay and Wyndham Clark dovetailed well to stay in touch with Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick.
After making a two on 17, Cantlay holed a bomb on the 18th hole for birdie which earned the victory
Europe leads 10.5 – 5.5 after day two of the 44th Ryder Cup
What were the key moments?
If we initially look at the morning session, it was vital Rahm and Hatton won the fourth and final match. Rahm exemplified his brilliance on 17, and Hatton showed his quality with a birdie putt on 16.
This partnership has been a victory for Europe whether they win the event or not, and this fierce pair has been a big cog in Donald’s European machine.
Congratulations go to Burns too. After being beaten 4&3 in the first match of the event with the emotional Scheffler, he bounced back with Morikawa to convincingly beat the impressive Scandinavian duo of Aberg and Hovland.
Zach Johnson passionately shook the hands of his team members in what was a statement victory for the United States.
Rose and MacIntyre showed more guts and determination than any pair in Italy to fight back against America’s loudest cheerleaders and win 3&2.
By then, Europe had one hand on the trophy – even a 3-1 defeat in the fourballs likely means that too – but Rose and MacIntyre epitomised the spirit that has led to Europe’s Ryder Cup success this century.
Cantlay provided the moment of the week for America so far with a bomb birdie on the 18th hole. He and Clark took down McIlroy and Fitzpatrick to give America a glimmer of hope.
Key quotes from the Ryder Cup fourball session
Sam Burns: “These guys are ready. We’re all positive. We know what we’re capable of. We know it’s going to be tough. We know it’s going to be a challenge. But we’re excited for it.”
Collin Morikawa: “Energy has to be up. We know there’s going to be 12 points tomorrow. We’re still going to have a chance. There’s always a chance. Obviously, it’s going to be tough and it’s an uphill battle.
“But look, each one of us has to deal with what we have in front of us, and that’s going to be our plan tomorrow, and it’s finding a way to put a lot of red on the board.”
Robert MacIntyre: “It’s been brilliant. Today is everything I’ve dreamed of. I worked hard for it.
“Yesterday felt like I let Justin down a little bit but he stood up to the challenge and today he was brilliant again and thankfully I helped him out.
“There’s a lot of nerves. But you’ve got to embrace them. I’ve had it before, never of this magnitude but I just knew what to do. I was actually happy when I got to that bunker shot and it was plugged because I knew I could get an 8 on it.
“A lot of people would have been worried about it but I just said to Greg, you know what, it’s better than being plugged in that bunker. You’ve just got to trust what you do, and to have a guy like Justin beside you to guide you is massive.”
Rory McIlroy: “Matt and I played well. Obviously, they had a great finish and you know, Patrick made three great putts at the end to seal the deal, so hats off to them. They played a great match, and yeah, I mean, a few scenes there on 18 and just fuel for the fire tomorrow.
Best tweet from a prolific English football manager of the day…
Neil Warnock has masterminded several revivals in his time as one of England’s most storied football managers, but even he doesn’t think he could help Team USA…
The US team are not enjoying it and definitely aren’t disciplined!— Neil Warnock (@warnockofficial) September 30, 2023
Not sure even I could save them 🤣
Come on lads give us a game!#RyderCup
Sam Burns has had a mixed Ryder Cup debut experience so far, and while facing hostile crowds, he gave a little back to the spectators at Marco Simone. Fair game, Sam. Fair game.
Sam Burns giving some back to the home crowd 😅 pic.twitter.com/OndjZcfDA7— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) September 30, 2023
Stat of the day?
I suppose we have to mention Aberg and Hovland’s record-breaking win in the morning foursomes, but also their defeat in session two as well…
Ludvig Aberg and Viktor Hovland played in 2 matches Saturday, but only needed 26 holes (1 win, 1 loss).— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) September 30, 2023
That’s the fewest holes played by a duo in a day in which they played 2 matches in the modern era of the Ryder Cup.
What was the best shot of the day?
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