What. A. Day.
The Ryder Cup rarely misses on delivering epic drama and the last day of September proved to be one of its best.
Historic wins. Comeback wins. Hat-inspired wins. Marco Simone turned into a modern-day Colosseum with some of the world’s best golfers serving as the gladiators.
By day’s end, Europe led 10.5-6.5, and is now just four points away from another home soil win — potentially their ninth straight. The United States won’t go down without a fight though, and went 3-1 in the afternoon four-ball to have some semblance of a chance.
Before the final day gets started Sunday, let’s get to three things we learned from an epic day at the Ryder Cup.
Åberg and Hovland make history with 9-and-7 rout
Brooks Koepka was the last player on the range Friday evening, working to find his rhythm in anticipation of the following morning’s foursomes match.
Whatever he found, it really didn’t matter. He and partner Scottie Scheffler didn’t seem to find a lot of rhythm at any point in their match, so, naturally, their opponents Ludvig Åberg and Viktor Hovland took advantage — to the tune of a 9-and-7 Scandinavian scorch fest that broke the Ryder Cup record for biggest winning margin in a match.
Before that, the largest margin of victory in a singles match was 8-and-7, which has happened twice. Tom Kite defeated Howard Clark in 1989 and Fred Couples topped Ian Woosnam in 1997.
This match victory was a whole new level of dominance, though, as it seemed Koepka and Scheffler weren’t ever close. Going into singles, Hovland and Åberg are two players who are already brimming with confidence. This historic win only adds fuel to the fire.
Max Homa and Brian Harman give life to the U.S.
Luckily for the United States, not every match was over by hole 11. Actually, there was some energy in the pairing of Max Homa and Brian Harman, who went undefeated on Saturday. The pair won their morning match 4-and-2 over Sepp Straka and Shane Lowry then took down Nicolai Højgaard and Tommy Fleetwood in the afternoon, 2-and-1.
Homa played outstanding all day, with two eagles and a bevy of birdies — including a walk-off chip-in
to close out the morning foursomes match and give the U.S. their first full point. Harman was the ultimate partner for Homa, stepping in where needed to keep the machine humming all day at Marco Simone.
Entering Sunday, Homa will be the only player on either team to play five matches; his play Saturday showed he can be ready for the spotlight when needed. And as we saw at the Open Championship earlier this summer, Harman can handle the heat when the pressure is on him.
Tomorrow will be epic
Well, it could be historic either way. Will Europe complete their overpowering of the Americans with a Sunday smash hit? Or does the U.S. find its groove and complete the biggest comeback in Ryder Cup history?
Regardless of the outcome, we’ll be in for show. When isn’t that the case when it comes to the Ryder Cup?