Ryder Cup: Europe Sweeps Afternoon Session to Take 5-3 Lead

Rory McIlroy of Europe reacts during the afternoon foursome matches of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on September 28, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The United States Ryder Cup team has a problem. Actually, it has a lot of problems after getting smashed late on Day 1 in Paris by a European team that led for nearly the entire afternoon foursomes session. After two blowout sessions (one for each side), Europe leads the United States 5-3 after one day of action at the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris.

After the U.S. nearly took all four matches in the morning fourballs, the Yanks wound up leading 3-1 entering the second wave of matches in the afternoon. The only Euros to put a point on the board in Session 1 were Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari, and they did it with a barrage of long birdies that propelled Europe into the afternoon with as much momentum as you can have when you’re trailing 3-1.

In the afternoon, Europe got its band back together and sent out lions Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter together as well as Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose. Sergio Garcia played with rookie Alex Noren, and Molinari and Fleetwood went out again. Collectively, those four pairings played 64 holes in the afternoon and trailed for just six of them. The result was arguably the most dominant session of golf in Ryder Cup history.

The 4-0 sweep was Europe’s first session sweep since 1989, and it made the Day 1 final tally 5-3 for the Euros. There’s a long way to go, of course, but Europe looks to be in command after the first eight matches as it takes a 25-year winning streak on home soil into Saturday’s repeat sessions of fourballs early and foursomes late.

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