(LIV Golf) — It was a disappointing first day for the USA at the Ryder Cup, with the Americans failing to win a single match in the two sessions Friday at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome.
But Brooks Koepka said he and his teammates will continue to fight in hopes of making up ground Saturday against Europe.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” Koepka said after he and partner Scottie Scheffler supplied a half-point by halving their Four-Balls match against Jon Rahm and Nicolai Hojgaard. “Still got a long day tomorrow. … It’s just a matter of momentum. But we’ve got to go out in the first session [Saturday] and play well, that’s for sure.”
The Europeans swept all four Foursomes matches in the opening session, one in which Koepka did not play. The U.S. managed three halves in Four-Balls, with Europe winning the other match to extend its lead to 6.5 to 1.5.
The five-point margin equals the largest in Ryder Cup history after the first day. Europe also led by five points in 2004 and eventually won by nine.
Koepka and Scheffler, partnering for the first time in a Ryder Cup, played well in their match, recording at least one birdie on 10 holes. The match was all square after the U.S. team won the ninth and 10th hole.
Thanks to a Koepka birdie at the par-4 15th, the Americans were 1-up, but Rahm won the next hole with an eagle at the drivable par-4 16th. Scheffler won the 17th with a birdie, but another Rahm eagle at the par-5 18th prevented an American victory.
In all, the Americans birdied each of their final five holes but won just two of those holes.
“We birdied 14 through 18,” Koepka said. “Pretty much I figured me or Scottie makes one on 18. And lost with two eagles. So, I mean, we played good coming down. Scottie played really well. It was impressive to watch him play. Nothing you can do.”
Added Scheffler: “They were holing some shots from some places. I mean, Nicolai made a couple of long putts, and then Jon had a chip in there late, and then obviously the one putt there at 18.
“It’s one of those deals where sometimes, you know, a team gets momentum, and those shots start going in. But, you know, I’m looking forward to tomorrow, getting out in the morning and seeing if things start going our way.”
Koepka, making his fourth Ryder Cup appearance, is confident the Americans will bounce back. His Ryder Cup record now goes to 6-5-2. He’s now 2-3-1 in Four-Balls.
“Honestly, we’ll be fine,” Koepka said. “We’re all grown-ups. We act like grown-ups. We’ll be just fine. Just got to play and see where it puts you.”