Saturday Afternoon Four-Ball Preview
The U.S. Ryder Cup Team took a commanding 6 - 2 lead on Friday at Whistling Straits. Saturday morning, the Americans further extended their lead to 9 - 3 in the Foursomes matches.
The Europeans will have to make up some critical ground during Saturday afternoon’s Four-Ball session in order to give themselves a fighting chance come Sunday.
Saturday afternoon, U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Steve Stricker stuck with what worked during Friday afternoon’s session and reunited many of the same players again for Saturday afternoon’s matches. European Captain Padraig Harrington chose to shake up a few of his pairings for the afternoon and returned to a few successful match ups that yielded points on Friday.
Match 1 (12:26 p.m. CT) Tony Finau/Harris English (U.S.) vs. Shane Lowry/Tyrrell Hatton (Europe)
How the U.S. will win: This dynamic duo teamed up for the first time in the Friday Four-Ball matches and quickly found success with a commanding 4 and 3 victory over Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry. They’ll have that convincing defeat to lean on as they look to repeat again in the afternoon and earn a second point for the U.S. Team.
How Europe will win: Lowry and Hatton will team up for the first time at Whistling Straits in an effort to make up some much needed ground for the Europeans. Hatton earned a critical half point alongside Rahm when the pair teamed up on Friday and has a record of 1-1-0 in Four-Balls at Le Golf National in 2018.
Match 2 (12:42 p.m. CT) Brooks Koepka/Jordan Spieth (U.S.) vs. Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia (Europe)
How the U.S. will win: For the first time in the Ryder Cup, Koepka and Spieth will join forces for the American side. Spieth won his first point of the 43rd Ryder Cup during Saturday morning’s Foursomes session and will have those good vibes to carry him into the afternoon. Koepka, who lost his morning match alongside Daniel Berger, is one who rises to the occasion and will be highly motivated to defeat the formidable pairing of Rahm and Garcia.
How Europe will win: This Spanish duo has been the most successful pairing for the European side so far this week. The pair won points in both Foursomes matches on Friday and Saturday and will take their chances for the first time together this week in the Four-Ball session. There’s no reason to doubt these two won’t be victorious again with Garcia, the winningest player in Ryder Cup history, and Rahm, the world No. 1 with an unbeatable talent and touch.
Match 3 (12:58 p.m. CT) Scottie Scheffler/Bryson DeChambeau (U.S.) vs. Tommy Fleetwood/Viktor Hovland (Europe)
How the U.S. will win: This duo reunites for the second consecutive Four-Ball session having Tied their match on Friday to secure a half a point for the U.S. Team. Scheffler and DeChambeau both sat the morning session again on Saturday and will be rested and refreshed to take on their European counterparts in the afternoon. This pair knows what it takes to battle back. Friday, the lead changed hands seven times over the course of their Four-Ball match. The Americans will need that same resilience on Saturday afternoon to earn a full point this time around.
How Europe will win: Fleetwood and Hovland also reunite for Saturday afternoon’s Four-Ball session after pulling out a Tie in their match on Friday afternoon. This duo took a quick 2 up lead on Friday but opened the door on the back nine to allow the Americans to tie the match. The Europeans will look to learn from that experience in order to ensure a critical full point for their Team in the afternoon session.
Match 4 (1:14 p.m. CT) Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa vs. Ian Poulter/Rory McIlroy
How the U.S. will win: Johnson and Morikawa are unbeaten playing both together and apart at Whistling Straits and will look to continue their run of good form on Saturday afternoon as they reunite for the Four-Ball session. The pair will be riding high off their morning victory in the Foursomes having defeated Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton 2 and 1.
How Europe will win: This duo will be well rested for the afternoon session as they look to earn a critical full point for the European Team. McIlroy sat the morning session for the first time in his Ryder Cup career and Poulter also did not play in the morning session or on Friday afternoon. This duo will be looking to rediscover the form they have shown in Ryder Cups past as they have a combined record of 8-7-3 in Four-Balls.