What they said: Friday at the Ryder Cup
The Americans took quick control of the 43rd Ryder Cup with commanding victories in both the morning Foursomes and afternoon Four-Ball matches. The U.S. Team holds a 6 - 2 lead after day one at Whistling Straits. Players on both the U.S. and European Teams met with the media following their matches and discussed the keys to the Americans’ early success as well as the challenges the Europeans faced on Friday.
Friday Morning Foursomes
Collin Morikawa: Dustin has been one of the best players in the world for a long time and to have someone like that, to have my first match in the Ryder Cup, I trust him a lot and it felt very comfortable. Thankfully I've been able to build a friendship with him and it's very easygoing. We are out there playing like another day trying to win and make as many points and birdies out there and we just found a little groove.
Patrick Cantlay: We want those kind of matchups. I think I speak for Xander a little bit here, but that's what it's all about. We were excited when we saw that pairing, and all the pressure is on them. They have seen it all and they are expected to maybe have a little veteran edge, and I was really glad we got that pairing.
Xander Schauffele: We have each other's back, and Pat and I don't talk a whole lot. I think everyone who knows us, especially when we play, we don't talk a whole lot. So he'll walk ahead or I'll walk ahead and we just kind of give each other looks, and that's enough to sort of build on momentum. We are similar in that sense and I think that's very helpful when competing.
Xander Schauffele: We had a nice message from Tiger last night, and obviously not going to reveal what it said, but Pat and I knew. We referred to it a few times a day, and we knew what we needed to do. We knew he was fist pumping from the couch. Whether he was on crutches or not, he was -- he's as fired up as any back at home. So it's nice to have his support.
Brooks Koepka: I think there's some part of knowing your partner and understanding the little nuances, comfortable over a shot, they love it, they don't like it, you can tell and that helps. We played really well today, solid and hit a lot of good putts that didn't even go in. Played solid tee-to-green as well.
Daniel Berger: We have two different styles of games. I'm more methodical and he's more bomb-and-gouge. When you pair us up together, we complement each other's games. And I felt like we could have played much better today, but in the end the bottom line is we have to earn a point, and we did that today.
Jordan Spieth: Sometimes you run into a buzzsaw. I think the only missed green in regulation you had was 17, and even that was on line and shouldn't have been a missed green. Played well. Would have won a lot of matches the way we played today.
Justin Thomas: I agree. That's part of this format and this tournament, you're not playing against the field. You're playing against the guys you're playing against. It's one of those days or one of those matches where things didn't go our way and things went their way, and that's why we lost. And if we play like that the rest of our matches that we have in our lifetime, I think we'll be just fine because I know we are both better putters than that. And we hit a lot of good putts, just hit in a lot of spots that wasn't too makeable with tough reads.
Jon Rahm: It's all part of the Ryder Cup, right? It's a lot of times where people are going to try to play mind games. In my case, I have a foot and a half to tie or win holes, I will make it, honestly. It's always a bonus to see the ball go in the hole, and I feel like it did put a bit of an extra thought in our mind. Those two missed putts, I was thinking I'm not going to give them the chance to have to give it to them or not.I feel like that's when it got into gear, I started really well after that and played nearly flawless golf. It's a lot easier when you have a robot off the tee with the irons, so all I had to do was help him make a few putts and not get in his way.
Jon Rahm: We had an idea it was going to be Justin and Jordan. I think everybody would have picked both of them to play together pretty much, they're great friends, and they did a great job in pairs. So we had an idea, and when the matchup was announced. My first thought that we fire in the first, you got to do, and the Spanish legacy that the Ryder Cup has, and then me and Sergio play, you know, and Sergio being the European with the most amount of points ever. A little bit of pressure to play with somebody like that, but at the same time, with his ball-striking, I knew my job was going to be to make some putts, and that's exactly what I did early on, and we kept the vibe going. Felt so good out there. Such a complete day, and I think everybody out there was feeling what we were feeling. And it was a really fun day.
Sergio Garcia: We would love to play amazing golf, all of us, and win every single point, but that's not the case. It doesn't happen. It's a very good American Team and a very good European Team, and the matches are always going to be tight.
Paul Casey: Look, I think Dustin and Collin played really good golf, didn't they? I'm not sure the score but they played really, really lovely stuff. Tip your hat. Viktor was an absolute stud. Absolutely enjoyed playing with him. Now get ourselves together and gathered for this afternoon.
Rory McIlroy: I don't know if anyone could have beat Xander and Patrick today. They played really good, four birdies in a row. Geez, yeah, they played great. They were a great pairing today, and all you can do is praise them for the way they played.
Lee Westwood: We played well enough to win that match. They got the breaks. We didn't. They holed a couple more putts and we didn't and we didn't take the chances when we had them. That was the first bogey that we made all day on 17, so we played well. It's just like that in the Ryder Cup. Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't.
Friday Afternoon Four-Balls
Tony Finau: I think I've got a lot of pride to play for my country and play for these guys. I love pressure and I think that you have to in Ryder Cup situations. I had a great time in these atmospheres, and we had a great time out there. I had a great partner in Harry who picked me up whenever I was down and I was able to carry him when he was down.
Tony Finau: Harry mentioned to me walking down No. 9, like how cool it was that Tiger is so into it. I think that's the big thing is he's so invested in this team. He's not here physically, but you know, I think the gist of basically what he was saying was I'm cheering you guys on, I'm right there with you and go fight and make us proud. We were able to do that, and if TW's watching, thanks for that text, brother, I think it helps us a lot.
Harris English: This is unlike anything I've ever played in. The team atmosphere has been awesome. We had a great week of prep, hanging out in the team room and hanging out with all these guys, it's fun to get to know them a lot more off the golf course. We had a great time today. Tony putted unbelievably. It's hard to putt out here with the wind gusting like it was. We had a great time and the fans were incredible today.
Xander Schauffele: It's always nice when you have DJ free flowing and playing some great golf. We played actually a few rounds this year, and it's always a beautiful thing to watch. I'm lucky to call him my partner now but to watch him play free flowing golf.
Bryson DeChambeau: It's going back to your bubble when you're about to hit a shot, doing your best to control your emotions in that way. I learned from Phil in that and I have a great partner and loved every minute of it and hope we can do it again soon. We are a good team and we're going to dominate.
Bryson DeChambeau: Proud of the team. Super proud. They fought hard every single shot out there, from what I saw, and, again, looking back on it, this is a great start, but the job's not over. We have two more days. A lot more golf. And we cannot lose our mindset to win.
Justin Thomas: I said to Pat walking off 17, there's not really two better people in the world I would love walking up this hole right now needing to win. I mean, we're two great players. We've done a lot of things. We have a lot of belief in each other, and it's just -- it's fun because this is what we love to do. This is our job, but the opportunity to do this in front of our fans and do it, the opportunity to be the last match of the day, we fought like hell to halve that match. It's just -- it's fun. You want to be in that spot and it is nerve-wracking. Don't get me wrong. You know it beats not being there I guess.
Patrick Cantlay: I think it's exactly why we practice and do what we do, and getting in that moment, for me at least, makes it even easier to focus. I'm so present and so ready for the moment that it's everything I've been preparing for, so it's the best.
Rory McIlroy: They feed off the momentum of the crowd obviously and the last two sessions, Xander, Patrick, played wonderful, and Tony -- I haven't seen Tony putt as good as that in a long time. When you have got a couple of pairs like that on form, on a difficult golf course where it's sort of hard to make birdies and they go on runs, if you're not quite a hundred percent on top of your game, it's tough.
Jon Rahm: It was a tight match, and when the wind picked up, none of us played our best golf. I'm not going to lie, when I hit my bunker shot on 16 and we both had over 15 feet for birdie and they were both inside ten feet, things did look dark to say the least. Luckily I was able to roll mine in, and I told him right away if we finish strong we can still get this done. He gave it a good go on 17 and what an amazing birdie, to birdie this hole the way he did, driver, 5-iron to six feet and make it, it's a heck of a hole. Not many people are as clutch as he is under pressure, and he showed it right here, so hopefully this gives him a lot of confidence for tomorrow and get this ball rolling.
Tyrrell Hatton: A very special moment. Obviously standing over that, I know it's a massive putt and it's going to help the team, and I was just -- I didn't hole any putts today. I just had to trust that one, and hit it left lip and made sure I hit a good putt. Thankfully I managed to do that. It went in and just an amazing feeling. Obviously you could see the emotion there at the end. It was huge for the team, and hopefully that turns the momentum our way now.
Tommy Fleetwood: It was an amazing match. At one point we had the upper hand and I had a couple of good chances to put us further ahead at the start of the back nine, but I mean, Viktor played great. I was really happy with how I played, the way those guys hit the ball, the way we all hit the ball really down the stretch. Once you turn into the wind on those last few holes, it was a really cool match to be a part of. Of course you always want to get the most out of it you can. We would have loved a win. I had such a beautiful time with Viktor out on the golf course and it was just a really good match.
Viktor Hovland: It's unreal. I would have liked to maybe put some more points on the board, but I mean, I don't think it's possible to have a more fun time, and with Tommy today, we were just a great team today. You know, we could have gotten the win out, but hopefully we have a chance to set the record straight tomorrow.