SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Turns out U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk’s idea to break up Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed wasn’t so bad after all, at least for Spieth.
On an American team that is underperforming at almost every turn, Spieth and new partner Justin Thomas have played great together and have recorded a 3-1 record, collecting exactly half of the U.S. point total. Europe leads the Ryder Cup 10-6 heading into Sunday singles.
“We went out and did what we needed to do and that was to get a point for our team and we did so in both sessions,” Thomas said. “And not just to do so, but to hit shots when we needed to the most and make putts when we needed it the most.”
Meanwhile, Reed struggled mightily both days when paired with Tiger Woods. That American duo lost both morning fourball matches and Reed especially looked out of sorts Saturday morning against European freight trains Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood.
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Speaking of Molinari and Fleetwood, they went 4-0 over the two days together and handed Spieth and Thomas their only loss this week, a 5-and-4 thrashing Friday afternoon in foursomes.
But the wins for Spieth and Thomas have been equally as impressive. They took down European stalwart Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm, 2 and 1, in Saturday fourballs, then beat Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy, 5 and 4, in afternoon foursomes.
“We had a difficult match,” Spieth said. “We had Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy both playing solid golf right now, and so that actually kept our focus on the match. Even though we started to make a run there, being 2-down early, there’s not a whole lot of extra time to watch scoreboards. You’ve really just got to dig deep and worry about your own match.”
The Americans enter Sunday singles down by the exact same score as they were in 1999 when they came back at Brookline, and the same score the Europeans were down in 2012 at Medinah and ultimately won.
“We’ve got to get off to a good start, we know that but even if we were leading, we would say the same I think,” Spieth said. “Each individual has to focus on their match and their match only. I would certainly recommend not doing any scoreboard watching and take care of your match.”