The Fleetwood Mac Pairing Sweeps the Ryder Cup Opening Session
In a stunning display of golf prowess, Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy, also known as the “Fleetwood Mac” pairing, dominated their opponents in the Friday morning foursomes sessions at the Ryder Cup. Their victory contributed to Europe’s commanding 4-0 lead over Team USA at Marco Simone Golf Club.
Breaking away from convention, European captain Luke Donald opted for foursomes despite Europe traditionally starting with fourballs sessions on home turf. This strategic decision paid off handsomely as it led to only the fourth ever opening session sweep in Ryder Cup history and Europe’s first.
The wounds from a crushing defeat two years ago were still raw for the Europeans, and they were determined to make a strong start this time around. Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton set an impressive tone by defeating World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns with ease (four up with three holes to play).
Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg continued Europe’s winning streak by triumphing over Max Homa and Brian Harman with an equal scoreline of 4&3. Despite being relatively inexperienced compared to their opponents, Aberg proved himself capable of holding his own alongside Hovland.
Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka secured another victory for Team Europe by defeating Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa (2&1). However, McIlroy and Fleetwood faced a late scare but managed to clinch their own 2&1 win, sealing a fairy tale start for the hosts.
McIlroy expressed his delight with the team’s performance: “It’s been an unbelievable session. We switched the format this year to go foursomes first because statistically that’s our better session… We were ready to go from the first tee shot as obviously you can see in how everyone played.”
The impressive opening session has left US captain Zach Johnson eager for a strong response from his team during the afternoon fourball session. Despite trailing behind, Johnson remains confident in his players’ abilities and believes they have what it takes to turn things around.
The scoreboard remained devoid of any red (representing Team USA) throughout all four matchups, highlighting Europe’s dominance in preventing their opponents from taking the lead at any point.
A standout match between Rahm and Hatton against Scheffler and Burns showcased exemplary teamwork from Rahm and exceptional skills displayed by Masters champion Rahm with a remarkable chip-in on the 10th hole.
In Hovland, Europe boasts one of golf’s most promising players, while Aberg proved himself worthy despite being relatively new to professional golf. The Scandinavian duo outplayed their more experienced counterparts Homa and Harman, much to the delight of home fans who passionately supported them throughout.
“The crowd is unbelievable and we can really feel the support,” Aberg shared after their victory. “That’s what we need to keep winning points here in Rome. It was a lot of fun today.”