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Europe make fast start to Ryder Cup second day

Europe make fast start to Ryder Cup second day

Europe’s Norwegian golfer, Viktor Hovland (left) and Europe’s Swedish golfer, Ludvig Aberg (right) walk to the 10th green during their foursomes match on the second day of play in the 44th Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome on September 30, 2023. — AFP pic

ROME, Sept 30 — Europe flew out of the blocks in this morning’s foursomes as they bid to extend their five-point lead over the United States at the Ryder Cup.

The hosts swept yesterday’s foursomes before holding off a brief USA fightback in the fourballs to grab a record-equalling 6.5-1.5 advantage after the opening day.

Zach Johnson’s Americans needed a strong start to wrestle back some momentum but instead quickly slipped behind in three of the four matches.

The visitors would have expected a strong showing from world number one Scottie Scheffler and five-time champion Brooks Koepka.

But instead the star pair played the first three holes in five over par before slipping seven-down after just nine holes against Viktor Hovland and Swedish sensation Ludvig Aberg.

Rory McIlroy missed two short putts to keep Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in contention in the lead-out match.

But Spieth’s woes off the tee saw Europe take a 2-up lead through 10 holes.

There was some joy for the USA, who arrived in Rome hoping to win the trophy in Europe for the first time since 1993, in the third foursomes game.

Max Homa and British Open champion Brian Harman were one-up through eight against Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka.

But Europe’s Friday hero Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton moved into a 2-up lead after seven holes against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele. — AFP