Saturday Match 2 Breakdown: Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton
KOHLER, Wis. – With the U.S. out to a commanding 6-2 lead, we now know who will be teeing it up in Saturday’s Foursome matches as the Americans look to build on their momentum while the Europeans hope to cut into the deficit. Here’s a look at how the pairings stack up in Match 2, where the U.S. Team will pair Dustin Johnson with Collin Morikawa while the Europeans will counter with Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton.
How the U.S. will win: U.S. Captain Steve Stricker is repeating his Friday Foursomes formula, and with good reason. Johnson and Morikawa were one of the pairings that found quick success in the opening session, beating Casey and Viktor Hovland without reaching the 17th tee. The two clearly have a rapport, one that goes beyond the fact that they play the same ball which can help in Foursomes play. Morikawa’s steady demeanor seemed to be an asset for the equally cool Johnson, as they birdied three of their first seven holes and never looked back. Johnson added an afternoon point with Xander Schauffele, so he clearly has momentum on his side and will look to make this three points out of a possible three before lunch is served Saturday.
How Europe will win: Has Casey found a pairing that works? That’s a lingering question after the Englishman failed to get a point with Hovland in the opener and then lost in Four-Balls alongside Bernd Wiesberger. Now he’ll try partner No. 3 in Hatton, who eked out a gutty tie in the afternoon session alongside Jon Rahm. Casey’s play hasn’t been indicative of a player who merits a spot in three straight sessions, but clearly Padraig Harrington sees something in his veteran. Casey will need to reward that faith if the Europeans are to have a chance in this one.
Key to the match: This could hinge on which version of Hatton we get. The Englishman wears his emotions on his sleeve, but that played to his benefit down the stretch of his Four-Ball match Friday afternoon. Given the significant deficit awaiting the Europeans, there’s also a chance that his fiery demeanor could backfire in a format that offers little margin for error. Casey has had his struggles, so he’ll need his countryman to step up if this is to be the pairings solution that gets Casey on the board.