How Day One of the Ryder Cup panned out

Team Europe's Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood celebrate winning their Fourballs match

Team Europe's Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood celebrate winning their Fourballs match

Had it not been for Jordan Spieth it could have been worse still for the holders.

Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm were the only Europeans to be down, with Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth one-up through 11. I felt like he can go 36 today, but looking at the groups we had on the course.

"There is nothing like it", said Fleetwood after his first Ryder Cup match. The duo bogeyed three of the first five holes, didn't make a birdie on the front nine, and was a jaw-dropping 7 down at the turn to Garcia and Noren.

Better was to come on the eighth, where the Northern Irishman drained a beauty from 25 feet before Finau missed from a third of the distance to extend that lead to four.

Finau missed another tiddler on the 13th green but then the wobbles began for the Europeans. After Fowler found the water on the par-4 15th and Johnson was just off the green in 3, it looked like the match might end right then and there, but Johnson found a way to hole his chip shoot to keep a glimmer of hope alive.

If the United States is going to make this Ryder Cup interesting, it's crucial that they strike early in the four-ball session on Saturday. That gave him a birdie putt to give the US its first point since Friday morning.

Finau's birdie at the short 16th piled the pressure on Europe but Garcia nervelessly holed his birdie putt at the 17th to wrap up the match.

Ryder Cup studs and duds from Day 1 at Le Golf National
Lost in the disappointing showing from the US side was that Woods and Reed did not participate in the afternoon. It would give the Americans a boost if they could jump out to a lead and pump some life back into the team.

And the Englishman's sweet touch with his putter continued, picking up three more on the bounce, capped with a wondrous putt from 30 feet on the sixth. He talked some strategy with Patrick Reed, with assistant captain Zach Johnson, and sought out Thomas Bjorn to shake his hand when the day's matches were over. "Brooks played some unbelievable golf in the middle of the back nine and I needed him to". (Furyk has already said Mickelson won't play Saturday morning in four-ball.) It might even annoy Mickelson a little to sit the entire day, spark something deep down in his competitive bones that gets him ready for singles.

Trailing by two points after the opening-morning fourballs at Le Golf National, home captain Thomas Bjorn brought wildcard picks Poulter, Garcia and Henrik Stenson into the action and the decision paid off in style.

Rose and Rahm took a 2-up lead after some sparkling play around the turn, but lost the momentum as Koepka and Finau drew level with two holes to play.

Brooks Koepka's wild tee shot struck a Ryder Cup fan in the eye.

British Open champion Molinari, as he did in the win over Woods and Reed, made the winning putt.

Hatton increased their advantage when he nailed his birdie putt at the eighth before making another gain at the long ninth, only for Johnson to match his effort.

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