SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – With the United States out to an early 3-1 lead at the Ryder Cup, the afternoon foursomes session will ensure that all 24 players get in at least one match on the opening day. Here’s a look at what’s to come later today at Le Golf National (all times ET):
7:50 a.m.: Dustin Johnson/Rickie Fowler (U.S.) vs. Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson (Europe)
Johnson and Fowler put the first point of the day on the board in fourballs, handily topping the duo of Rory McIlroy and Thorbjorn Olesen. They’ll look to remain undefeated against a familiar foe, as the duo of Rose and Stenson that has been seen so often at the Ryder Cup is together again after Stenson sat the morning session and Rose lost a heartbreaker alongside Jon Rahm after rinsing his final approach.
8:05 a.m.: Bubba Watson/Webb Simpson (U.S.) vs. Rory McIlroy/Ian Poulter (Europe)
Two Americans who watched this morning but paired together four years ago at Gleneagles are again in action, as Watson and Simpson will rekindle their familiar pairing and look to create what Simpson described as “half Bubba, half Webb” in the alternate-shot format. They’ll face the formidable duo of McIlroy and Poulter, with McIlroy getting the call for a second session despite being the only player without a single birdie during a morning fourballs loss. But McIlroy has never sat out a session in his Ryder Cup career, and that streak will now extend until at least Saturday.
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8:20 a.m.: Phil Mickelson/Bryson DeChambeau (U.S.) vs. Sergio Garcia/Alex Noren (Europe)
Mickelson and Garcia were viewed as two of the biggest question marks on either side coming into the matches, and now they’ll face off against each other in the more demanding of the two formats. Mickelson will welcome another new Ryder Cup partner as DeChambeau makes his much-anticipated debut, while Garcia will pair with Noren, who won the French Open on this course in June but was the only one of Thomas Bjorn’s five rookies not to see action in the opening session.
8:35 a.m.: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (U.S.) vs. Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood
Spieth was perhaps the most electric player of the morning wave, starting his match with Thomas with five birdies over his first seven holes en route to a narrow 1-up win. They’ll go out again in the afternoon, this time alongside the consistent pair of Molinari and Fleetwood who have a quick turnaround after playing in the anchor match of the morning while earning Europe’s lone point against Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed.
These pairings mean that U.S. captain Jim Furyk has benched Tiger Woods, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka for the afternoon session, while European skipper Bjorn opted to sit Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Casey, Thorbjorn Olesen and Jon Rahm.