Part­ner­ship breaks record at Ry­der Cup

Sunday Sun - - Golf - Phil Casey

Tommy Fleet­wood of Europe and Francesco Moli­nari dur­ing the af­ter­noon four­some matches of the 2018 Ry­der Cup at Le Golf Na­tional yes­ter­day TOMMY Fleet­wood and Francesco Moli­nari cre­ated Ry­der Cup history and in­flicted yet an­other de­mor­al­is­ing de­feat on Tiger Woods to in­spire Europe to a 10-6 lead at Le Golf Na­tional.

Debu­tant Fleet­wood and Open cham­pion Moli­nari com­bined for their fourth win of the con­test yes­ter­day – a feat never pre­vi­ously achieved by a Euro­pean pair – and a vic­tory for ei­ther in to­day’s sin­gles would com­plete the first 5-0 recorded by a Euro­pean player.

Hav­ing brushed aside Woods and Patrick Reed 4&3 in the morn­ing four­balls, Fleet­wood and Moli­nari dis­patched Woods and Bryson DeCham­beau 5&4 in a four­somes ses­sion which was shared 2-2 to main­tain the home side’s four­point cushion.

Woods has now lost his last seven four­some or fourball matches in the con­test and the 14-time ma­jor win­ner’s to­tal of 20 de­feats is just one be­hind the record of Phil Mick­el­son, who was left out of the en­tire day’s play.

“All the records are for noth­ing if we don’t win the cup back,” in­sisted Moli­nari, who had not won a match in his two pre­vi­ous Ry­der Cup ap­pear­ances. “There is a job to be done still and we are go­ing to do it.”

Asked about his part­ner­ship with Fleet­wood the Ital­ian added: “We are good friends and wanted to play to­gether. We both like the course and we are sim­i­lar play­ers. It was pretty much writ­ten in stone.”

Europe cap­tain Thomas Bjorn’s de­ci­sion to rest Hen­rik Sten­son and Justin Rose in the morn­ing paid div­i­dends when they com­bined to beat world num­ber one Dustin John­son and three­time ma­jor win­ner Brooks Koepka 2&1.

And, al­though Ser­gio Gar­cia and Alex Noren lost 3&2 to Bubba Wat­son and Webb Simp­son and Rory McIl­roy and Ian Poul­ter went down 4&3 to Justin Thomas and Jor­dan Spi­eth, the 10-6 mar­gin gave Europe their big­gest lead ahead of the fi­nal day since 2006.

Fresh from over­turn­ing an early 3-1 deficit by win­ning a four­somes ses­sion 4-0 for the first time in the con­test’s history, the home side came out fir­ing on day two against a seem­ingly shell­shocked United States side.

McIl­roy and Gar­cia sur­vived a nervy fin­ish to lead from the front and beat Koepka and Finau, be­fore Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hat­ton were a com­bined nine un­der par in a 3&2 vic­tory over John­son and Rickie Fowler. Fleet­wood and Moli­nari, whose win over Woods and Reed was the only Euro­pean suc­cess on Fri­day morn­ing, then re­peated the feat in style on the back of three con­sec­u­tive birdies from the 11th from Moli­nari af­ter Woods had some­how dragged the match back to all square.

The fourth match was the only one which went against the home side as Spi­eth and Thomas beat Poul­ter and Rahm 2&1, de­spite the Euro­pean pair be­ing seven un­der par.

How­ever, the eight matches won in a row since trail­ing 3-0 on Fri­day morn­ing was the most by any side since the cur­rent for­mat was in­tro­duced in 1979.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.