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Jordan Spieth hangs JT out to dry, Europe steals the present at Ryder Cup

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After the Europeans embarrassed the Individuals Friday morning, 4-to-0, Captain Zach Johnson turned to Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas within the opening group of afternoon four-balls.

Spieth and Thomas drew a tough match, as they took on Viktor Hovland and Tyrell Hatton—two of the perfect gamers on Group Europe.

Thomas, who many felt didn’t deserve a spot on the workforce, carried the load on the again 9. He made huge putts and hit huge photographs, as he barely held on to halve the match on the Ryder Cup.

Spieth, in the meantime, sprayed the ball everywhere.

On 14, he duck-hooked his tee shot left into the fescue, resulting in a bogey-five.

The previous Texas Longhorn discovered the deep tough once more off the tee on 15, plunked it within the water on 16, after which failed to seek out the green once more on the par-5 18th.

If Spieth had not gotten so wayward off the tee, the Individuals might need gained the match. In spite of everything, he and Thomas held a 2-up lead standing on the 14th tee.

“We fought arduous,” Thomas mentioned afterward. “Felt prefer it might have simply as simply gone the opposite method. It’s a bummer. It’s not the beginning we wished, however fortuitously for us, we’ve acquired a whole lot of golf left. We’ll simply go get some sleep, regroup, and go attempt to win as many factors as potential tomorrow.”

Thomas did all the pieces he might. Certain, he missed a tough birdie putt that led to a European victory on the sixteenth gap, however Thomas had ice in his veins on the par-5 18th.

Justin Thomas, Ryder Cup

Justin Thomas performs his second shot on the 18th gap Friday on the 2023 Ryder Cup.
Picture by David Cannon/Getty Photos

After hitting his second shot simply in need of the inexperienced, Thomas virtually holed out his third shot for eagle.

Nonetheless, it appeared like he and Spieth would escape with a victory, however Viktor Hovland drained a 26-footer for birdie, turning Marco Simone into bedlam.

“I assumed certainly one of us wanted to make the putt, and to make that one was actually cool,” Hovland mentioned. “Put a little bit bit extra strain on [Thomas] there.”

Thomas then had the load of the world on his shoulders. He wanted to make a slippery five-footer to halve the outlet and the match.

He drained it.

Useless heart.

Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Ryder Cup

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth embrace after halving their Friday Fourball match towards Viktor Hovland and Tyrell Hatton on the 2023 Ryder Cup.
Picture by David Cannon/Getty Photos

As for Spieth, he discovered the water together with his third shot on 18, so all of it got here all the way down to Thomas, among the finest Ryder Cuppers the USA has ever produced.

And in pressure-packed conditions such because the one seen on 18, the perfect ship. Thomas did, proving his value, and displaying why Captain Johnson picked him for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Nonetheless, Spieth’s absence on the again 9 helped Europe rally. It appeared as if the Europeans had been taking part in two-on-one throughout the again 9 of this match.

At one level, the U.S. held the lead in three matches.

However they didn’t win any of them. For the primary time in Ryder Cup historical past, Group USA didn’t win a single match throughout a person day, in keeping with famend golf statistician Justin Ray.

So after Day One, the Europeans have a commanding 6.5-to-1.5 lead over Group USA, which is tied for the most important opening day deficit in trendy Ryder Cup historical past (since 1979).

Jack Milko is a golf workers author for SB Nation’s Enjoying By means of. You may comply with him on Twitter @jack_milko for extra golf protection. Make sure to try @_PlayingThrough too.



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