CHASKA, MINNESOTA – Walking up the edge of the 18th fairway with Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler moments away from finishing off Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan to complete a staggering American foursomes sweep to start this Ryder Cup, a gentleman in a blue European team jacket was talking to a companion.
“This could be a disaster. It could be everything we feared,” the man said.
It was, at least from the European perspective.
From the American view, the 4-0 sweep in foursomes was the first time since 1975 that the U.S. won every match in the opening session. As tone setting goes, it felt like a sonic boom.
“It’s a good start but it’s long way to go,” American captain Davis Love III said. “There’s a lot more points out there. Keep doing the same thing over and over every session.”
It was a dream start for the Americans, who lost seven of eight foursomes matches two years ago at Gleneagles.
Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed did what they do, winning 3&2 over the powerhouse European duo of Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose.
Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar crushed Lee Westwood and Thomas Pieters 5&4, Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson won five straight holes to close out Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer 4&2 and, in the match that swung the morning, Mickelson and Fowler came from 2-down with four to play to beat McIlroy and Sullivan.
‘With everything going on, me not having (won a Ryder Cup match) and Phil being a big part of getting this task force and getting the players a lot more involved and getting everyone on the same page, to Arnie passing and him being a huge part of this week, this is big for us this morning,” Fowler said.