It's a whitewash! Europe thrash USA in foursomes

Fleetwood Molinari Day 1

You have to go all the back to 1989 for the last time Europe whitewashed USA in a Ryder Cup session.

But history repeated itself - eventually - some 29 years later on Friday afternoon at Le Golf National as the four European pairings enjoyed comfortable victories over their American counterparts.

By comfortable, none of the matches went as far as the 17th hole and, in the case of lead pairing Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler - who won their fourball match so impressively this morning - and Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, it could have been a lot worse.

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Johnson and Fowler were 5-down after 11 holes against Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson before losing 3&2, while Mickelson and DeChambeau were 7-down through nine holes against Garcia and Noren before losing 5&4.

Rory Mc Ilroy

In the other two matches, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter beat Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson 4&2, while Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood beat Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth 5&3.

Naturally, it left European captain Thomas Bjorn feeling very content but, with his vast Ryder Cup experience of playing in three matches and being vice-captain in four, he did his best to play down the achievement.

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“We’re delighted with the way it turned out after a fairly tough morning but it’s a marathon and we’ve got to refocus and get ready for tomorrow," he said.

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“But this session is right at the top. When you clean sweep, it’s
pretty special, but we experienced that against us at Hazeltine and it’s
not a nice thing. Things can turn around quickly."

The Dane also reiterated his faith in Rory McIlroy after making the call to put him out again in the afternoon foursomes after struggling in the morning, where he was the only player who didn't make a single birdie.

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"I never have any doubt in Rory McIlroy, because if I start doubting him,
then I probably shouldn't be doing this job," he added. "I believe in him, and it was great to see his response today.

"I'm not in any way, shape or form qualified to tell Rory McIlroy how to
play golf, but I'm qualified to lead him in a direction with the people
he's surrounding himself with this week to get good things out of him. He is that guy that he only needs very short comments and then he
goes again."

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