American sweep and European rally at Ryder Cup

Don't try too hard to impress, Kaymer tells rookies

“I am a big fan of golf and a big fan of the Ryder Cup and hopefully we can enjoy these fantastic players, because all of them they are outstanding”.

Rory McIlroy: Do you agree with his comments?

Arnold Palmer’s golf bag when he was captain in 1975 was placed on the first tee. He teamed with countryman Rafael Cabrera Bello to win his afternoon match and has often served as the emotional engine for the European side, a role he inherited from the late Seve Ballesteros, another of his countrymen.

Darren Clarke’s defending champions battled back from the ignominy of a 4-0 whitewash in the morning foursomes matches at Hazeltine to end the opening day of the team contest just two points behind after rallying in the fourballs contests.

Europe have triumphed eight times in the last 10 Ryder Cups and won the trophy for a third successive time with a crushing victory by 16-1/2 points to 11-1/2 at Gleneagles in 2014.

The United States holds a 5-3 lead headed into Saturday.

And based on the last Ryder Cup on American soil, not until it’s over.

“I want to win more tournaments, I certainly want to win more majors or be in contention to win more majors or have the opportunity to win majors”, Johnson told reporters on Thursday, the final day of official practice.

Phil Mickelson earned the afternoon off after teaming with Rickie Fowler to win their opening match in a morning foursomes sweep by the USA team.

On the eighth green of the Hazeltine National Golf Club, Dave Johnson had these exact thoughts as he watched Ryder Cup ‘s Team Europe study a putt – except he chose to express them out loud.

“Makes it sweeter when you beat the guys you lost to in the morning”, Stenson said.

Clarke’s three wildcards failed to perform with Martin Kaymer losing both matches heavily and Lee Westwood taking the blame for his 54 foursomes thrashing with Thomas Pieters.

Many questioned this pairing last night, wondering why Johnson, who has not been in form this season, was chosen over Brooks Koepka or Brandt Snedeker.

The Americans have accrued little more than scar tissue against Europe. Europe made double bogey on the seventh hole, and the Americans birdied the par-3 eighth to go 5 up, and the rout was on.

Also remembering the barnstorming comeback at Medinah four years ago when Europe reeled in a four-point overnight deficit, Martin Kaymer added: “We all know what happened in the past – it doesn’t matter how far you are behind”.

“We didn’t have a good morning”, Garcia said.

“If we play the way we’ve been playing, stick to our game plan and execute the way we know we can, that will be huge”.

Love could not have scripted a better start – a symbolic one, too. “It shows how strong we are to come out with that performance being down that much”.

Nerves may have played a part in Moore’s early struggles.

Rose has the first tension-packed shot off the first tee.

“We’re not going down without a fight”. And for all the toasts thrown around about “greatest team ever”, don’t get any comparisons started.

“In golf, it’s one sport – and maybe being a defensive back in the National Football League – you need to have a short memory”, Johnson said Thursday.