After an opening day rout that saw Europe take a clean sweep in the opening Foursomes and follow up with a 2.5-1.5 fourball session to lead 6.5-1.5, Luke Donald has name an unchanged eight-man lineup for Saturday morning’s final Foursomes session, though altering order.
Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton and Viktor Hovland all play their third match in succession, with the ‘Fleetwood Mac’ pairing, who anchored the opening session, getting things underway on day two against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. The American duo, who were the first to avoid defeat when securing a tie with Hovland and Hatton in fourball play, sat out the opening Foursomes but US captain Zach Johnson is banking on their dynamism to spark what is increasingly looking an unlikely comeback.
Ludvig Aberg comes back in to partner Viktor Hovland and they take on Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka. Hovland and Aberg secured a comfortable 4&2 win over Brian Harman and Max Homa in the opening session, while Koepka, who partnered Scheffler to a fourball tie with Rahm and Nicolai Hojgaard, is set to make his first Foursomes appearance.
The third match once again sees Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka pair up and this time it’s Homa and Harman they’ll face. Both Lowry and Straka impressed when running out comfortable winners over Collin Morikawa and Rickie Fowler on day one and then sat out the afternoon session.
The final match sees Rahm and Hatton go up against Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay. The Americans suffered their first ever Foursomes defeat when falling to McIlroy and Fleetwood in the opening session, but Johnson is showing faith in Schauffele whom McIlroy doubled up on in the afternoon session.
One suspects that anything less than coming out of the right side of a 5-3 victory on day two will leave the US side with too big a gap to breach on the final day.
|06:35||Justin Thomas & Jordan Spieth||Rory McIlroy & Tommy Fleetwood|
|06:50||Scottie Scheffler & Brooks Koepka||Viktor Hovland & Ludvig Aberg|
|07:05||Max Homa & Brian Harman||Shane Lowry & Sepp Straka|
|07:20||Xander Schauffele & Patrick Cantlay||Jon Rahm & Tyrrell Hatton|