Captain Padraig Harrington says Team Europe can still retain the Ryder Cup, but he admits they need a shift in momentum after they fell 6-2 behind after day one (USA 1/10, Tie 16/1, Europe 9/1 – Outright).
The United States, led by Steve Stricker, opened their biggest lead after day one of a Ryder Cup against Europe thanks to some incredible form on the greens at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
The home team won both sessions 3-1 to take a commanding lead into day two, with Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia winning their only full point during the morning foursomes session.
Tyrrell Hatton rescued a half-point in the four-ball session in the evening, as did Viktor Hovland and Tommy Fleetwood as they shared the spoils with Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas.
Even though his team struggled on the greens, Harrington says it could all change very quickly, and the Irishman believes his team have what it takes to bounce back.
He told Sky Sports: “No doubt it was a tough day. Clearly not what you wanted, 6-2. There’s obviously still 20 points to play for. We have only just played for about 25 per cent at this stage. It isn’t a good start, but there’s still a lot to play for.
“My team played well today. You know, just a few times, the momentum, the odd putt didn’t go in, and you need a bit of momentum.
“But hopefully, I just think the last couple of matches there, when it was really, really tight, the boys came through. Those two halves at the very end were crucial for us, Tyrrell with the birdie on the last, very, very important in those situations.”
On Friday, Rory McIlroy lost both of his matches, and Harrington has omitted him from Saturday’s foursomes.
Harrington has kept Garcia and Rahm together, and the duo will face Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger (Koepka/Berger 13/10, Tie 11/2, Garcia/Rahm 21/20).
Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa will tackle Paul Casey and Hatton (Johnson/Morikawa 4/5, Tie 11/2, Casey/Hatton 7/4), while Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth will fancy their chances against Bernd Wiesberger and Viktor Hovland (Spieth/Thomas 4/5, Tie 11/2, Hovland/Wiesberger).
Saturday’s final foursomes match will see Cantlay and Xander Schauffele come up against Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick (Cantlay/Schauffele 8/13, Tie 11/2, Westwood/Fitzpatrick 9/4).