Matt Fitzpatrick’s hot start, Rory McIlroy’s fire finish decimates Team USA in Ryder Cup four-ball

Matt Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy were the sole pairing in the four-ball session on Friday at the Ryder Cup to earn a whole point.

The other three pairings tied with the Americans to give the Europeans a whopping 6.5 to 1.5 lead after day one.

Fitzpatrick and McIlroy destroyed their opponents, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele, 5 & 3. From the start of the match, it was theirs to lose and they never relented.

It was a team effort as Fitzpatrick carried them on the front nine, and McIlroy cleaned up on the back nine.

“For the first nine holes, I was trying to hang on to this man’s coattails,” McIlroy said about Fitzpatrick’s start. “I said to him, walking up 10, ‘At least I contributed twice.’ Then the boys made a few birdies, you know, on the back nine there, and we had to hang in and hit some good, solid shots down the stretch.”

It was Fitzpatrick’s first match of the week after he sat out the morning foursomes. He had never won a point for Team Europe in his previous two Ryder Cups. Team Europe didn’t need him as they swept the Americans 4-0 in historic fashion.

Fitzpatrick came out on fire to help the Europeans go 6-UP through seven holes. He made four birdies and an eagle through the first six holes.

McIlroy then birdied the par-3 7th to give some aid, but the Englishman held the Americans by the collar most of the afternoon.

“Six one-putts in a row is normally a big help,” Fitzpatrick said. “Yeah, felt good with the putter on the front nine and just got off to a really hot start.”

The Americans won the 11th and 12th holes, but it wasn’t enough to complete a comeback. McIlroy nailed the final dagger into the American’s coffin on the par-4 15th, where he made a birdie.

This match was the only one in the afternoon that didn’t go all 18 holes, and a big reason for that lies with Fitzpatrick.

McIlroy got to sit back and contribute, but his playing partner got the job done and finally earned his first point as a Ryder Cup member.

“I said to Fitzy there, you know, for his first point for Europe, I’m happy that I was the one to get it with him,” McIlroy said.

The Americans didn’t win a single match during an individual day of the Ryder Cup for the first time in history.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

This post was originally published on this site