Category Archives: Justin Rose

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2019 U.S. Open Final Round Highlights

The 119th playing of the U.S. Open is officially in the books following four days of grueling competition. The host site, Pebble Beach, didn’t quite fight back as many expected but it yielded plenty of exciting opportunities and tension down the closing stretch. After winning back to back in 2017 and 2018, defending champion Brooks Koepka nearly made it a three-peat but inevitably came up three shots short.

Keeping calm, cool, and collected Sunday, much like he did all week, gave Gary Woodland the poise to pull off his first Major victory. Since the close of Friday’s second round, the 35-year old four-time PGA Tour winner stayed at the top and refused to let go of his chance at history. With a final round of 69 Woodland finished the tournament 13-under par and three clear of the competition.

Between Woodland, Koepka, and Justin Rose battling at the top, the leaders turned in plenty of top shots Sunday. But the field below them jockeying for position also provided their fair share of highlight reel moments. Last Word on Golf has compiled the top highlights from Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Open.
Woodland wins at Pebble Beach
With Koepka and Rose already making moves to threaten the lead, Woodland answered right back with a birdie at the second hole to improve to 12-under.

With what can only be described as ice running through his veins, Woodland matched the roars from Koepka’s early charge with another confident birdie of his own to extend his lead back to two.

As Koepka began breathing straight down his neck, Woodland stepped up once again and delivered a clutch birdie to increase his lead to two shots once again.

Woodland proved human after barely missing a 21-footer for birdie that would’ve moved him to a three-shot lead.

Another narrowly missed birdie putt helped to highlight how Woodland’s lead so much of the U.S. Open this week, by minimizing the big numbers and keeping his scores consistent.

On the green in three at the par-5 18th, and already a two-stroke lead, Woodland refused to play it safe by turning in a crowd erupting 30-foot birdie to solidify his first ever major championship at the 2019 U.S. Open.


Rose and Koepka contend
Starting the day four off the lead, reigning back to back U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka turned the heat up quickly with a birdie on his first hole of the day.

With a birdie to close his round Saturday, Justin Rose kept the momentum train rolling with another birdie on his first hole of the day to get into an early tie of the lead.

From a seemingly impossible lie in the thick rough and an awkward angle, Koepka turned around what could have easily been a bogey or worse with an incredible approach that would lead to a par save.

From the fairway on the par-4 3rd, Koepka reeled in his approach to set up an easy birdie to get to 9-under.

With three birdies in his first four holes, Koepka jumped into a tie for second and began the rumblings of a comeback back to back to back U.S. Open championship bid.

With almost 22-feet to the hole, Koepka continued his birdie run at the par-3 5th.

After a few routine pars Koepka went back to the birdies at the par-4 11th to move to just one shot off the lead.

With so much going on around him Rose stayed laser-focused over his par-saving putt at 11.

Still two shots off the lead, Koepka had a chance to put the pressure on and move the lead to just one with one to play. Unfortunately for Koepka it wasn’t meant to be as his birdie putt on 18 just barely missed the right edge.


The Best of the Rest
Just a few more inches and Rory McIlroy would’ve had one of the shots of the entire tournament as he missed an ace at the iconic par-3 7th hole be just a few rotations of the golf ball.

After 59-years of Jack Nicklaus’ 72-hole U.S. Open amateur record standing strong, at his last tournament as an amateur, Viktor Hovland broke that record Sunday by two strokes.

He may not have had much to talk about for much of the tournament but Bryson DeChambeau turned in some early noise from the gallery with an eagle at the par-5 6th to get back to even par.

2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson made his move up the leaderboard with an eagle at the 6th and a follow-up birdie at the 7th to also battle back to even par.

Falling off the gird after a sensational opening round, Rockie Fowler proved he still has plenty to prove at Pebble Beach following a birdie putt from off the green at the par-4 4th.

Aaron Wise used every inch of spin he could muster at the par-5 14th for a remarkable 79-yard birdie hole out.

Scott Piercy started his round in one of the best ways possible with a birdie hole out at the very first hole of the day.

Despite finishing the tournament at 4-over par, the newly turned 49-year old Phil Mickelson finished his 28th U.S. Open appearance with a birdie at 18.

If you come to play Pebble Beach you better know how to play out of the sand. 2018 Open Champion, Francesco Molinari proved he knows his way out of a bunker with a birdie hole out at the 8th.

No matter where he is on the leaderboard all eyes are on Tiger Woods. And Woods knows how to deliver late in on a Sunday including this lengthy birdie at the par-4 13th.

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2019 U.S. Open Third Round Highlights

The 2019 U.S. Open is far from over but while moving day provided a needed boost for some, the names on top saw little change. After a stunning second round, Gary Woodland continued his methodical poise around Pebble Beach Saturday.

Woodland began the day 9-under par for the tournament and holding onto a one-shot lead. Despite his first bogey in 34 holes, the current U.S. Open leader turned in a steady 2-under third round of 69. His playing partner Saturday, Justin Rose, kept things close with a 68 to stay just one back of Woodland.

While the top two didn’t change, the leaderboard below them shifted around with a number of odds on favorites making their move. With so many of the top players in golf pulling out all the stops at Pebble Beach, the third round of the U.S. Open turned in a number of replay-worthy highlights.
Woodland and Rose continue to set the pace
Gary Woodland showed no signs of pressure or slowing down as he needed just four holes Saturday to turn in his first birdie and extend his lead to three.

Needing to capitalize on the rare Woodland mistake this week, Justin Rose settled in to gain the two-shot swing at the par-4 8th.

After his first bogey in 34 holes at the 8th, Woodland bounced back at 11 as he spun his approach to just over two feet. He would clean up for birdie to get back to 10-under par.

Following an awkward lie after his tee shot at the par-3 12th, Woodland found himself off the green chipping for par. However, no putter was no problem as he found the perfect line to save par.

Not letting Woodland’s chip-in par save rattle him, Rose fired back at 12 with a strong birdie putt to cut the lead back to two.

Looking to be in trouble once again at 14, Woodland had to cover over 42-feet for his par. And he used every inch of the green to bury that putt at the bottom of the cup for par.

Rose dropped a shot at 13 but fired one right back following Woodland’s stunning par-saving putt to again get back to 9-under and within two.

It may have been a grind Saturday but Rose will march into Sunday with the momentum and just one shot behind Woodland following a closing birdie at 18.


Koepka keeps history in sight
Looking to stay in striking range, the reigning back-to-back U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka nearly cashed in an eagle at the scoreable par-5 6th hole but had to settle for a birdie for his first red number of the third round.

Standing over his birdie putt at the par-4 10th, Koepka knew he had to find the right line to convert. And convert he did to move to 7-under and a tie for second.

Needing nothing put perfection from off the green at the par-4 15th, Koepka dialed in just that as he sent his par putt from 31-feet on a picturesque line for the save. He would save par at 18 to finish four shots off the lead in his quest to three-peat on Sunday.


Contenders continue to put the pressure on
Closing birdies at 15 and 18 moved Rory McIlroy to a solo 6th place at 6-under heading into the final round at the U.S. Open.

Culminating with this 12-footer at the par-3 17th, Louis Oosthuizen turned in three straight birdies to fight his way back to a tie for third heading into Sunday’s final round.

2010 U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell finished his round in emphatic fashion after sinking a 34-foot eagle putt to reach 4-under par.

Everyone likes a good eagle so why not two more? Paired together Saturday, Chesson Hadley and Matt Kuchar completed the rare feat as both made eagle putts at the par-5 6th.

Kuchar and Hadley weren’t the only playing partners feeding off one another as Brandt Snedeker and Rafa Cabrera Bello holed out from off the green at the 8th.

Looking for his best finish at a U.S. Open, 24-year old Jon Rahm chipped in for birdie at the par-4 8th.

Friday may not have gone his way but perennial favorite Rickie Fowler turned his fortunes around early Saturday with three birdies through his first seven holes including a 27-foot putt at the par-3 7th.

From off the green and needing a lengthy make to save par, Chez Reavie followed the exact line from 17 yards out to stay tied for 5th at the time.

Despite not being on the green, Rory Sabbatini, who already claimed a hole-in-one highlight Thursday, sank back to back birdies from off the green at four and five.


Tiger finishes with a highlight of his own
It wasn’t a marquee day for the reigning Masters champion but fan favorite Tiger Woods turned in a birdie on his final hole of the day to battle back to even par for the tournament.

 

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2019 U.S. Open Second Round Highlights

Pebble Beach tried to battle back Friday but there were still plenty of low numbers to be had throughout the second round of the 2019 U.S. Open. Deep rough and ever-changing winds tried to unnerve some of the top names in the world of golf. Despite the conditions, one player emerged from the pack as the outright leader heading into the weekend.

Coming off two top-10 performances in his last three Major appearances, Gary Woodland shot a 6-under second round of 65 to take a two-stroke lead over the field. Since early in his opening round, Woodland now finds himself bogey-free over his last 27 holes. The 12-year pro may be in uncharted territory but if his play stays as steady as it did today he seems more than up to the task.

While the top of the leaderboard flourished, the rest of the field struggled to stay inside the dreaded cutline. The pressure of leaving Pebble Beach early mixed with the importance of a major championship provided plenty of top highlights during the U.S. Open’s second round.
Woodland goes low
Beginning his day 2-under par through his first nine holes, starting on 10, Gary Woodland began his battle to the top of the leaderboard with an emphatic birdie at the par-4 1st to move within one of the lead.

After putting himself in prime position, Woodland took his shot at the leaderboard with back to back birdies beginning with a quick, breaking two to tie for the lead at the par-3 5th.

A sensational approach at the 529-yard par-5 6th gave Woodland a look at eagle but he’d ultimately settle for a birdie to claim the outright lead at 8-under.

With his lead in jeopardy late in the round, Woodland stayed calm before pouring in a difficult 15-foot putt to save par.

After it seemed like Woodland pulled out every surprise he had in his bag of trick Friday he saved possibly the best for last with an improbable 49 and a half foot birdie putt to end his round with the tournament leading 9-under par.


Top contenders chase down the lead
The defending back to back U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka continued to battle through his second round just to stay in striking range of the lead. Back to back birdies at six and seven helped keep Koepka on track heading to the weekend.

One of the most consistent players in the game, Justin Rose seemed to have the 36-hole lead nearly untouchable early in his round Friday. Even following his missed hits, the Englishman found a way to birdie including battling out of the bunker at the difficult par-5 18th.

The 2018 Open champion Francesco Molinari proved he doesn’t need a putter to move into contention following a chip-in for birdie at the par-3 7th.

A roller coaster ride featuring seven birdies and five bogeys brought down what began as a solid start for Jordan Spieth. The 2015 U.S. Open champion started his second round with three birdies over his first four holes.

Before Woodland made his charge, it was the South African Louis Oosthuizen who was threatening the lead thanks to his accuracy of the tee and touch around the green.

Despite a back and forth round both Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy proved why they are two of top players on the PGA Tour and around the world with bounce back play at the 14th and 16th respectively.

With back to back rounds of 69, the man known as Kuch ignited the crowd on his final hole of the day with a chip in for eagle at the par-5 18th to place Matt Kuchar at 4-under and five shots off the lead.

The last man to win a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Graeme McDowell, made a run of his own Friday featuring a stretch of four straight birdies starting at the par-4 4th.

A leader late Thursday before being passed by Justin Rose, Scott Piercy continued to claw back toward the lead with a long birdie putt Friday at the par-4 13th.


The battle against the cut heats up
Finishing 1-over par for his round, Tiger Woods skated inside the cutline by just two strokes thanks to clutch short game and putting including a birdie at the par-4 11th.

Only his second week back from injury and Justin Thomas flirted with the cutline throughout his second round. At the par-4 9th, JT’s game looked to have a glimmer of hope with a hole-out from the greenside rough. Unfortunately, the 2017 FedEx Cup champion failed to make the cut by two strokes.

Despite missing the cut, Ian Poulter finished his 2019 U.S. Open in memorable fashion after draining his third shot from 71-yards out for birdie.

 

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Europe Sweeps USA in Foursomes, Takes 5-3 Lead in Ryder Cup

Friday’s opening two sessions of the Ryder Cup could not have been more different. In the cool morning at Le Golf National, the Americans seized the opportunity, utilizing their ball striking and putting to take a 3-1 lead. But in the afternoon, Europe got to work to give the home crowd a lot to cheer about. They never gave the Americans a chance in the alternate shot foursomes. For the first time in Ryder Cup history, the Europeans would win all four Foursomes matches against the Americans, taking a 5-3 lead heading into Saturday.

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“We know it’s a marathon, and we’re delighted with the way the day turned out because it was a fairly tough morning,” said European Captain Thomas Bjorn. “They wanted to go out and prove something this afternoon, and that was nice to see, but it says a lot about the group.”
Europe’s Veterans Shine in Ryder Cup Foursomes
When Captain Bjorn selected Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson as captain’s picks, it came with a large amount of criticism. Garcia has not made a cut of a major championship since he won The Masters in 2017. Henrik Stenson has been battling injuries and has not won a tournament since 2017. And Poulter has always been a streaky player.

But when it comes to the Ryder Cup, these three golfers always raise their games. After being down 3-1 this morning, Bjorn decided to roll with his veterans, hoping that they would be the motivation to turn this Ryder Cup around in Europe’s favour.

The Captain’s gamble had paid off. Garcia, Poulter, and Stenson all won their respective matches by a large margin. Garcia, who was paired with rookie Alex Noren, halved the opening hole against Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau. The European pair then went on a tremendous run winning seven of the next eight holes, ultimately winning the match 5&4. Garcia’s Ryder Cup record now improves to 20-11-7 and ties Bernhard Langer for most points earned in foursomes (11.5).

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“I’ve always said it, Ryder Cup, there’s nothing like it,” stated Garcia. “I’ve got an amazing partner. He played amazing. I think the front nine we played, in foursomes and on this course with the wind blowing, was spectacular.
Ian Poulter was the inspiration needed to lift up a bummed Rory McIlroy, who lost his opening Four-Ball match without recording a birdie. After going two down early to Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, Poulter and McIlroy locked in, showcasing their tremendous ball striking and emotion to win 4&2.

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“It’s been a long time since I played a Ryder Cup,” said Poulter. “Four years is a long wait. But the second I got going this morning, I felt good. It’s great to play with Rory. The buzz around the golf course is just incredible.”
Like Poulter was for McIlroy, Henrik Stenson made the impact in getting Justin Rose back on track in the afternoon, after losing on the final hole against Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau in the morning. Stenson and Rose are no strangers to playing with each other at the Ryder Cup. The last two Ryder Cups they have been paired together six times, winning four times. Today was no different, as they dominated Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler at alternate shot, winning 3&2.

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“Obviously when you go out against the world’s best players on the other side, you deserve nothing,” said Rose. “You are to earn every point. Nothing is given out there. For me to come out and play with Henrik, someone I’ve had a lot of success with on the golf course is the perfect scenario for me.”
Americans Can Take Positives Into Saturday
Despite the Americans getting swept in the Foursomes matches, there are positives that can be taken heading into the Saturday session. Tony Finau and Justin Thomas, two rookies at the Ryder Cup, held their own, winning two of their three matches. Jordan Spieth, who had not played the week before in the TOUR Championship, looked brilliant in his morning Four-Ball match, starting to get the putter working again.

But clearly Captain Furyk has to assess what went wrong in the Foursomes matches and get that fixed. Perhaps it was a mistake to play Phil Mickelson or Bubba Watson, who both had trouble hitting the ball in the fairway. Maybe playing Brooks Koepka in the afternoon would have made sense, given that he was demonstrating tremendous shotmaking off the tee and making clutch shots.

The advantage Captain Furyk and Team USA have is that there are still 20 matches left in the Ryder Cup. When down two points in the first session in the past, Team USA has come back to win the Ryder Cup twice before. So Team USA has no reason to worry other than focusing on playing solid golf and making the putts.

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“I think our guys will respond, I really do,” Furyk said hopefully. “Obviously, it’s going to leave a sour taste in their mouth tonight and they have to sleep on that. We’ll come back tomorrow, and I bet we’ll be fine.”
Predictions for Saturday Four-Ball Matches
Europe has every reason to be riding high heading into Saturday. They just swept Team USA in the Foursomes. It appears that they found their dream pair in Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari. But the Americans are going to come into tomorrow’s matches with a lot to prove. They will be ready to go with a chip on their shoulder, looking to make a move to prepare for singles on Sunday. Here are my predictions for tomorrow’s Four-Ball matches.

Match #1: Brooks Koepka-Tony Finau vs. Rory McIlroy-Sergio Garcia (US)

Match #2: Dustin Johnson-Rickie Fowler vs. Paul Casey-Tyrell Hatton (US)

Match #3: Tiger Woods-Patrick Reed vs. Tommy Fleetwood-Francesco Molinari (Europe)

Match #4: Jordan Spieth-Justin Thomas vs. Ian Poulter-Jon Rahm (Half)

Score Heading Into Saturday Foursomes: Europe 6.5 – US 5.5The post Europe Sweeps USA in Foursomes, Takes 5-3 Lead in Ryder Cup appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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Five Thoughts Heading into Ryder Cup Four Ball Matches

On the eve of the start of the Ryder Cup, Team USA and Europe’s selections for the morning four-ball matches were revealed. Captains Furyk and Bjorn made the vital selections that will pave the way for their teams to have success in the Ryder Cup. Here are the morning four-ball matches that will open the Ryder Cup:

Match 1: Brooks Koepka-Tony Finau vs. Justin Rose-Jon Rahm

Match 2: Rickie Fowler-Dustin Johnson vs. Rory McIlroy-Thorbjorn Olesen

Match 3: Jordan Spieth-Justin Thomas vs. Tyrell Hatton-Paul Casey

Match 4: Tiger Woods-Patrick Reed vs. Francesco Molinari-Tommy Fleetwood

With the golfers set for both squads, here are my five initial thoughts heading into the Ryder Cup Friday Four-Ball matches.
1) Both Europe and USA Lead with Strength
It is clear that both Europe and USA want to get off on the right footing when it comes to who they put into the Four-Ball matches. For the Americans, they included golfers who come into the Ryder Cup with a ton of momentum. Tiger Woods is arriving at this competition, fresh off winning the TOUR Championship. Brooks Koepka has won two major championships this year.

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For the Europeans, who can argue the success Justin Rose has had this year. FedEx Cup Champion. World Number One. Oh, and he has an above .500 record in the Ryder Cup. Rory McIlroy is the other leader for the Europeans, coming into the Ryder Cup with a 9-6-4 career record. Putting the squad’s two top golfers in the first two matches sends a message that Europe wants to get the early lead and set the tone early in this competition.
2) Older Veterans Are Sitting
In the past, normally it would be the older veterans to start for the squads, to galvanize the respective teams. But in this Ryder Cup, both the Americans and Europeans are sitting their older players for future sessions. The USA is sitting Phil Mickelson, playing in his 12th Ryder Cup. Europe is resting Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter, both of whom have played pivotal roles in victorious European Ryder Cup teams in the past.

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But can you blame Captains Furyk and Bjorn for their decisions? Since being selected as a Captain’s Pick, Phil Mickelson has been at the bottom of the leaderboards at the BMW and TOUR Championships. Sergio Garcia has not made the cut of a major championship since he won The Masters back in 2017. Ultimately, these players will have to compete at least once in the Ryder Cup. Most likely, some of them may play in the Foursomes session on Friday. But giving rest to the older players is important, as the Captains would like to keep them physically fit and not tired before the grueling Singles Sunday.
3) Rookies Get Golden Opportunity
It is clear that Captains Furyk and Bjorn aren’t shying away from putting their rookies in the hot seat early on in the Ryder Cup. Six rookies combined will be starting in the Friday morning Four-Ball session; Tony Finau and Justin Thomas for the Americans and Jon Rahm, Thorbjorn Olesen, Tyrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood for the Europeans.

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“Players stand up and they are counted for what they do in the greatest events in the world. But legends are made in this event,” Bjorn said. “That is where the public comes around them and can do so much for their careers. It’s an opportunity to go out there and be the best that you can be on a grand stage.”

Thomas Bjorn is risking more with starting four rookies compared to Furyk’s two. Not to take away anything from Tony Finau or Justin Thomas but those two have been in the mix in major championships (Thomas 2017 PGA Championship winner) and relish those high-pressure moments. For Bjorn, he will roll the dice with Rahm, Olesen, Hatton, and Fleetwood. These four have shown promising golf this year, but will it shine through in front of the rowdy home crowd? The Danish captain believes they have what it takes to seize the moment.

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“There are the obvious guys out there, in the sense that they are players you would all expect to see, and then there’s a new guy in every group,” Bjorn said.

“They have been just itching to go, especially Thorbjorn, Jon and Tyrrell. I think Tommy is a different guy, in the way that he’s won [the 2017 France Open] around here, and he’s been real quality for the last couple of years.”
4) Best Morning Match?
While it will be fantastic to see the big hitters of Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy going toe-to-toe or the lifelong friendship of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas becoming Ryder Cup partners, the best morning match will be the last one. Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed, the Big Cat and Captain America taking on Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood, the Italian Stallion and the English Rookie.

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Patrick Reed’s Ryder Cup record is sensational. 6-1-2 and most famous for exuding that American pride in defeating Rory McIlroy at the 2016 Ryder Cup. Despite Tiger Woods’ underwhelming Ryder Cup record (13-17-3), he is coming into the Ryder Cup on a high after winning his 80th PGA Tour victory. The partnership of Woods and Reed can fuel and ignite the fire within each other, showcasing that emotion and enthusiasm we are used to seeing at the Ryder Cup.

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Francesco Molinari arrives in Paris playing the best golf of his career. Winner of the BMW PGA Championship and the Open Championship, Molinari utilized his steady ball striking tee to green to capture these victories. This includes deflecting a Tiger Woods final round charge at Carnoustie to hoist the Claret Jug.

Molinari will be paired with Tommy Fleetwood, a Ryder Cup rookie who has played brilliantly this season. From shooting a 64 in the final round of the U.S. Open to winning the 2017 French Open at Le Golf National, Fleetwood’s coolness under pressure will be a critical asset to possess in this Ryder Cup match.
5) Who Wins Each Match?
These four matches have the potential to produce terrific drama to open the Ryder Cup. As both the USA and Europe teams know, getting off to a strong start is crucial. When a player arriving to the first tee at the Ryder Cup, there is no messing around. Just ask Rory McIlroy, who vividly remembers his experience of coming to the first tee in his inaugural Ryder Cup appearance.

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“I still thought it was this team event that really doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things,” McIlroy said. “I was more concerned about individual titles and all that. Then I got to the first tee and I realized the magnitude of it all. It just hits you. You try and put your ball on that tee and it takes you a couple times to get it to settle on there.”
With that said, here are my predictions for the opening four matches.

Match 1: Brooks Koepka-Tony Finau vs. Justin Rose-Jon Rahm (Europe)

Match 2: Rickie Fowler-Dustin Johnson vs. Rory McIlroy-Thorbjorn Olesen (USA)

Match 3: Jordan Spieth-Justin Thomas vs. Tyrell Hatton-Paul Casey (USA)

Match 4: Tiger Woods-Patrick Reed vs. Francesco Molinari-Tommy Fleetwood (Half)

 

Score After Friday Morning Session: USA 2.5 – Europe 1.5

 

 

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