USA make a flying start at Hazeltine
Europe's bid to win a fourth Ryder Cup in a row got off to the worst possible start as the United States claimed a 4-0 whitewash in the opening foursomes at Hazeltine National.
Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth put the first point on the board with a 3 and 2 win over Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson and that was quickly followed by Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar's convincing 5 and 4 victory over Thomas Pieters and Lee Westwood.
Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer had been one up against Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker before the Americans rattled off five holes in a row for a 4 and 2 win, and the morning was completed when Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson claimed a one up win on the last against Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan.
Europe have won eight of the last ten Ryder Cups coming into this week, prompting the home side to form a task force to review the way they approach the biennial showpiece from top to bottom.
That appeared to be bearing fruit early, as the Americans swept the foursomes for just the fourth time in Ryder Cup history and just the second since continental Europe joined the contest in 1979.
Rose and Stenson put the first point on the board at Gleneagles two years ago but it was the American pair - who were also undefeated in Scotland - who got the ball rolling for the USA.
Rose and Reed both controlled their nerves to hit beautiful drives on the first but Reed then showed he had his range with his irons as well as off the tee, putting approaches to eight and three feet on the second and third for two birdies and a two-hole lead.
A Spieth approach to four feet on the seventh extended the advantage and while an American bogey on the ninth allowed Europe to cut the gap, Reed rolled a beauty down the hill at the 16th to seal the win.
"I think it was a tight match," said Rose. "There wasn't much in the match tee-to-green. They made a few putts, we couldn't buy one. We had a feeling that we would run into our run but it just never really happened."
Stenson added: "The American team played very solid. They got off to a good start. They hit it close on two and three and birdied and we couldn't match that and we were down from the beginning."
The final match of the morning was the second in the books as Westwood and Pieters were never able to get going against Dustin Johnson and Kuchar.
The Americans needed just two birdies to get five up after eight holes and while a bogey after a missed putt from Kuchar gave a glimmer of hope on the ninth, a short missed putt from Westwood on the 13th spelled the end of the challenge.
In the third match, the United States got into bunker trouble on the second to put Garcia and Kaymer ahead but then rattled off five holes in a row from the 12th.
A European bogey was followed by an excellent Johnson tee-shot on the 13th and a brilliant Walker birdie putt on the next. A poor Kaymer chip on the 15th then meant it was dormie three and Europe would not bounce back.
"Obviously they got on a good roll, they made three birdies in the last four and a couple really nice birdies," said Garcia. "It is what it is, and we're going to go out there this afternoon and get some points on the board. It's still early days."
The final match to finish was a rollercaoster as Europe went two up after six holes but when McIlroy found the water on the seventh and Fowler chipped in on the ninth, the United States were one up at the turn.
A scrappy par at the 11th prompted a fist-pumping celebration from Sullivan and clutch putts from McIlroy on the 13th and 14th had Europe two up and seemingly in control.
But the Americans won the 15th and 16th and when Sullivan put his tee-shot in the water on the 17th, the Americans had a lead they would not give up on the last.