Rory McIlroy will lead the line for Europe in Sunday’s singles knowing it’s win or bust as his team look to overturn a record-deficit ahead of the final round of this year’s Ryder Cup.
McIlroy tasted defeat for the third time this week on Saturday, losing out 4&3 alongside Ian Poulter to an in-form Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa in the afternoon four-balls. In the end it was a tied session with Jon Rahm teaming with Sergio Garcia for a 2&1 win before a brilliant Shane Lowry performance alongside a struggling Tyrell Hatton got the better of Tony Finau and Harris English on 18.
That leaves America very much in the ascendency, 11-5 up with Padraig Harrington knowing it will take a miracle in Medinah effort, and then some to claw victory from defeat at Whistling Straits.
“Six points is a tough one to make up tomorrow, but we were a half-point short of that in the Miracle at Medinah on Sunday, so we’re just going to have to push for that tomorrow,” said Europe’s Captain, with the USA now needing just three and a half points to secure victory.
“There’s no doubt that’s going to be very strong on our minds, and look, even reversing it to Brookline. I know that was a four-point gap. These things can be done.
“I’m sure they [the players] know they have a very tall order ahead of them, but it’s still possible. They have to just go out there and win their own individual match. There’s nothing more they can do than that. They have to focus on that and not look at that bigger picture and focus on their individual self and play their game and win that and then just see how it adds up.”
Many questions have been asked of Harrington’s selections this week, not least why he decided to leave good friend Lowry out of the two foursomes sessions. The Offaly man drove the green at the first on Saturday, seemingly with a point to prove, and after carrying teammate Hatton to a win, Harrington was asked if he had any regrets about not giving Lowry more action.
“He played very nicely in the two matches he played, and it’s tough to play a lot of people,” said Harrington.
“That’s probably the hardest thing in the Ryder Cup in the first two days is mathematically you have to rest eight people Thursday and Friday. Shane was very comfortable with that. He knew how it would golf. Most people either play a foursomes or a fourball. He’s played two fourballs and he’s taken to it like a duck to water. He really has enjoyed the experience.”
Singles line-up (Irish time):
- 1704 Xander Schauffele vs Rory McIlroy
- 1715 Patrick Cantlay vs Shane Lowry
- 1726 Scottie Scheffler vs Jon Rahm
- 1737 Bryson DeChambeau vs Sergio Garcia
- 1748 Collin Morikawa vs Viktor Hovland
- 1759 Dustin Johnson vs Paul Casey
- 1810 Brooks Koepka vs Bernd Wiesberger
- 1821 Tony Finau vs Ian Poulter
- 1832 Justin Thomas vs Tyrrell Hatton
- 1843 Harris English vs Lee Westwood
- 1854 Jordan Spieth vs Tommy Fleetwood
- Full scoring HERE