Saturday Match 3 Breakdown: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas vs. Viktor Hovland/Bernd Wiesberger
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 3, where the U.S. Team will pair Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas while the Europeans will counter with Viktor Hovland and Bernd Wiesberger.
How the U.S. will win: While Spieth and Thomas combined for the only American loss on the opening day, they didn’t play poorly. What’s more, Thomas seemed to find his footing – and his emotional spark – in an afternoon Four-Ball tie alongside Patrick Cantlay. The two friends should be eager to avenge their opening defeat to Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, especially given their form was good enough to potentially win against other opponents. Viewed as the emotional leaders of this U.S. Team, both men will look to play like it Saturday morning.
How Europe will win: This seems like an unconventional pairing on the surface, but facing a 6-2 deficit perhaps the play is to throw convention out the window. Hovland was solid in his first two matches but accrued only a half-point, while Wiesberger actually exceeded expectations despite a Four-Ball loss with Paul Casey. As the only two players to ever represent their respective countries in the Ryder Cup, perhaps Hovland and Wiesberger can find something of a common ground in the face of a seasoned opponent. Wiesberger will need to show that his game is up to the demands of Foursomes, while Hovland will need to hole a few more putts than he did in his opening match.
Key to the match: This could lie in the hands of the Americans. If Spieth and Thomas play to their potential, it’s hard to envision a scenario where the Europeans can keep pace. There might be an upset if they open the door with some loose shots or shoddy play, but this is a situation where Spieth and Thomas will both arrive to the first tee knowing that their collective A-game will be enough to get the job done.