Ryder Cup: United States and Europe split Saturday Four-Ball; Americans lead 11-5 heading into Sunday singles – USA TODAY

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HAVEN, Wis. – Affable and animated Shane Lowry put on quite a show in the first match of Saturday afternoon’s Four-Ball action.

Partnered with Tyrrell Hatton against USA’s Tony Finau and Harris English, Lowry knew he had to come up with his best golf to help Europe climb out of a substantial hole at Whistling Straits in the 43rd Ryder Cup.

He did just that.

Lowry birdied the first three holes, added four more and then got up-and-down from 140 yards on the 18th hole to hold off Finau and English, 1 up. After driving his tee shot on 18 into a bunker, he laid up but then knocked his third to 10 feet and with Europe needing full points and not half-points, canned the 10 footer.

Europe needed all of Lowry’s heroics because the quiet and gentle English, who teamed with Finau to pummel Lowry and Rory McIlroy, 4 and 3, Friday afternoon, wasn’t going to let his opponent be a one-man show.

English birdied the first two holes and then traded blows with Lowry throughout a tight, tense match. The two birdied the sixth to tie and the two each birdied the 10th to tie. At the time Europe led, 1 up. Hatton got into the act with a birdie on the 11th to put his team 2 up, but Finau birdied the 13th to cut the lead in half.

English then birdied the 14th from short range but Hatton knocked in a 40-footer for a huge tie. Lowry kept Europe ahead when he made a tough par on the 15, which was matched with a gut-check par from English.

On 16, English nearly chipped in for eagle while Lowry nearly dropped a 40-footer for eagle. Both teams made birdie and Europe led 1 up with two to go.

After Hatton and Finau parred the 17th, it set up a final-hole showdown.

English actually chipped for the win from 40 feet, but the ball drifted by and he settled for par. And then Lowry ended the show with a brilliant putt.

“I didn’t know I was going to make it, but I was going to do my best,” Lowry said. “Today’s my mom’s birthday. That was for her.”

RYDER CUP: Live scores | Format, scoring explained

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The Spaniard duo wins again, taking down Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka

Earlier this week in Europe’s team room, Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm posed for a picture in front of the image of Spanish legends Jose-Maria Olazabal and Seve Ballesteros. They replicated the iconic image of Ollie climbing atop Seve’s shoulders to see where a shot had gone – with Garcia hopping on to the back of Rahm. Good thing Rahm has broad shoulders as he’s done his best at the 43rd Ryder Cup to lift all of Europe and give his team a glimmer of hope heading into Sunday’s singles session.

In bright sunshine and gusting winds on Saturday afternoon, Rahm and Garcia did their best job of channeling the incredible success of Ballesteros and Olabazal in international competition and were the second coming of their Spanish Armada days.

As partners, Garcia and Rahm, the World No. 1, won three out of a possible three points and were the lone bright spot for Team Europe, edging Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth in a Four-Ball match, 2 and 1. (Rahm earned another half point in a Friday Four-Ball with Tyrrell Hatton.)

Rahm pitched close to win the first hole, but Spieth erased Team USA’s deficit with an eagle at the par-5 second. It would be an uphill battle all afternoon for the Americans as Rahm won the third hole with a par and then sank a 45-foot birdie putt at the fourth hole that had perfect line and pace and disappeared into the heart of the cup.

Rahm did it again at the seventh. With Spieth stalking a birdie putt from closer range, Rahm canned a 15-foot birdie putt and pumped his fist. When Spieth’s birdie try slid by, the Spanish Armada 2.0 led 3 up.

Team USA fought back with Koepka doing the heavy lifting. He poured in birdie putts at Nos. 8, 10 and 13 to win all three holes and erase the deficit. Spieth’s putter turned colder than the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, including the cruelest 360-degree lip out you’ll ever see at No. 12.

Europe pulled ahead for good when Spieth missed another 10-foor birdie putt and Rahm rolled in his birdie effort from 7 feet. But Rahm wasn’t done yet. He holed a 29-foot birdie at 16 that left Garcia grinning from ear-to-ear and mouthing the words that he loved his partner. And why wouldn’t he? After all, it was Rahm’s fifth birdie of the day and further proof that the U.S. Open champ is golf’s current alpha male.

Ryder Cup rookie Scottie Scheffler, Bryson DeChambeau take control late and win

Talk about a proper golf match.

The American bomber unit of Scottie Scheffler and Bryson Dechambeau took on Team Europe’s all-hair team of Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland in one of the best matches of the week Saturday during the afternoon Four-Balls session of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin.

Every time one team made its move, they were met with an immediate response before the match ultimately ended in favor of the Americans, 3 and 1.

Hovland canned a 14-footer for birdie on the par-3 third to take an early 1-up lead before DeChambeau followed suit with a 23-footer to tie the match on the par-5 5th. The Americans took their first lead two holes later with a Scheffler par on No. 7. The Europeans answered with consecutive wins on Nos. 8 and 9 to flip the match at the turn.

DeChambeau began the back nine with another birdie from distance, this time from inside 30 feet, to square the match once again. Fleetwood earned his first win of the match with par on the par-3 12th which the Americans responded to with a DeChambeau birdie two holes later. Scheffler joined in on the fun with a 16-footer to give the Americans a 1-up lead with three to play. The Texan ran with the momentum to another win on the 16th with a birdie after Hovland missed a nine-footer of his own for birdie.

DeChambeau and Scheffler tied Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton on Friday in Four-Balls after losing a 1-up lead with three to play on the final hole. Fleetwood and Hovland also tied Friday afternoon against Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay.

DeChambeau and Scheffler both improve to 1-0-1 in the format, while Fleetwood earns his first loss at 2-1-1 and Hovland at 0-1-1.

Bryson DeChambeau plays his shot from the ninth tee during Day 2 four-ball rounds at the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa move to 3-0 as a pair

For the first time in his Ryder Cup career, Rory McIlroy lost two matches in the same day on Friday. For the first time in his Ryder Cup career, Rory McIlroy was benched, as captain Padraig Harrington held him out of Saturday foursomes.

Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa stood  2-0 as a pair entering the match, including a win early Saturday morning. McIlroy and Ian Poulter were dominated Friday morning as a pair. So, not the most ideal match-up for the European side down 9-3 going into four-ball.

The first hole was halved after Poulter and Johnson both made birdie. Johnson gave himself an eagle look on two to win the hole, it didn’t drop, but his tap-in birdie was good enough to win the hole after McIlroy’s birdie putt lipped out.

Poulter made birdie on the par-5 fifth to bring the match to all square, but an American win on six gave the U.S. duo a 1 up lead once again. Morikawa hit a fabulous iron into the par-3 sixth and capitalized on the birdie putt to go 2 up.

Morikawa needed just par on the eighth, and all of a sudden McIlroy/Poulter were in a 3 down hole. The next six holes were halved, until Collin Morikawa buried a mid-range birdie putt on the 15th. Rory McIlroy had a birdie putt to extend the match, but ran it by on the left side.

Johnson and Morikawa finished the group sessions 3-0 as a pair.

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