"Played four, won four" doesn't even come close to explaining how impressive Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari have been. Fleetwood is the first European rookie in Ryder Cup history to win four matches during the opening two days of the event. Molinari had never won a Ryder Cup point in eight previous matches coming into this year. Together, they have become only the second pairing in the European era to have won four points from their opening four matches. Is that any good?!
It’s rare that any casual golf fan can watch pro golf on the TV and think: “I could do that.” That almost goes double for the Ryder Cup, where the pressure is more intense and, for the most part, standards are raised accordingly. So, thank God for today’s foursomes match between Garcia/Noren and Watson/Simpson. They halved the par-3 second in triple-bogey. Yep: triple. Thanks for that, lads.
As a general rule, he gets a hard time, does Mr Simpson, but he was superb in this afternoon's foursomes match alongside Bubba. That horrendous tee shot at Gleneagles suddenly feels a lot longer than four years ago.
Rose and Stenson
Ground out a crucial win against world No.1 Dustin Johnson and his big-hitting pal Brooks Koepka to keep the momentum with Europe in the opening match of the foursomes. In so doing, they improved their Ryder Cup record in the format to five wins from six appearances together. They're not like fine wines that keep getting better with age. Fine wines are like them.
Points won by Sergio, Casey, Poulter and Stenson? Six.
The Masters champion had lost only once in ten previous matches at the Ryder Cup, and was the USA’s top points-scorer at Gleneagles in 2014 and Hazeltine in the intervening period. A talismanic, totemic figure for the States, his performances even earned him the nickname ‘Captain America’. On the evidence of this week at Le Golf National, that classification is going to need to be downgraded to ‘Cadet’. Reed has played twice and lost twice, both times in the company of Tiger Woods, both times at the hands of Francesco Molinari and Tiger Woods. Today, his sole contribution of any note in a 4&3 loss was a birdie (his only one of the day) at the par-4 ninth… for a halve. A legitimately world-class player, today he put the ‘Pat’ in ‘pathetic’.
When your most significant contribution to the day – hell, the week – is letting your teammates rub your belly for good luck, you know you’ve had a stinker. A defeat tomorrow gives Phil the undesirable outright record of ‘Most Ryder Cup Matches Lost’. Ever. Ugh.
From Europe’s rust-inspired tops to Tiger Woods wearing all the hats on the first tee this morning (see above), this was a calamitous day for golf’s sartorial reputation.
Two days. Three matches. Three defeats. Abject. Disinterested. A wasted pick. I feel like retracting my apology.
We counted close to 100 people inside the ropes following Rory and Poulter in the early stages of their foursomes match with Spieth and Thomas. No surprise when you consider that players reportedly receive up to 20 - TWENTY - "access all areas" passes for friends and family. Straight off the bat, that's a potential 80 people obscuring the views of people who have paid top dollar (or Euro, in this case) to be here. That's just wrong. Sadly, it's nothing new. Previous Ryder Cups have been blighted by the same problem. And a problem it most unquestionably is. Please fix it.
Points won by Tiger, Phil, DeChambeau and Final? One.
Do you agree with Michael McEwan's assessment of Day 2? Who are your winners and losers from the opening day at Le Golf National? Leave your thoughts in our Comments section below.