Team Europe strolled to a 6 1/2 -1 1/2 victory on day one of the 2023 Ryder Cup after a dominant showing in Rome.
Captain Luke Donald’s decision to start with foursomes for the first time since 1993, the last US victory on European soil, paid handsome dividends as his side swept an opening session for the first time in the contest’s history.
Roared on by a partisan crowd, the home side never trailed at any point in all four matches and their opponents won just 10 holes all morning.
World number one Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns accounted for only one of those as they were beaten 4&3 by Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, with Viktor Hovland and rookie Ludvig Aberg despatching Open champion Brian Harman and Max Homa by the same score.
Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka maintained the momentum with a 2&1 win over Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa before Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood completed the rout by inflicting a first foursomes defeat on Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.
Team Europe dominated the opening day of the Ryder Cup to finish with a 6 1/2 – 1 1/2 score
America struggled to contain Team Europe winning just ten holes throughout the first day
Tommy Fleetwood partnered Rory McIlroy for an opening day foursomes victory for Team Europe
McIlroy celebrated a brilliant afternoon of Ryder Cup golf, winning both of his fourball rounds
Team USA eventually picked up their first half point of the day after Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas tied with Hovlund and Hatton.
They added another half to their day’s total with reigning US PGA champion Brooks Koepka partnering Scottie Scheffler against Jon Rahm and Nicolai Hojgaard.
Rahm’s huge putt on the 18th hole tied the fourball and moved Team Europe onto six points while America finally had their first whole digit on the board.
The late action was a summary of the day’s events for both teams.
Jon Rahm was Team Europe’s hero in the afternoon action when he produced an outrageous 20-foot putt on the final whole to claim a half point
Justin Rose sank a beautiful putt to salvage half a point to cap off a dominant opening day
It was a miserable day for Team USA as they failed to win a final game on the opening day
Meanwhile, McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick enjoyed the easiest afternoon victory of the lot as they earned a deserved 5&3 win over Colin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele.
The European point was the first for Fitzpatrick in three editions of the Ryder Cup.
Team USA duo Max Homa and Wyndham Clark should have wrapped up a first win and double their overall score but a miss-putt on the 17th was followed up by further nerves on the final hole.
Justin Rose held his nerve where Team USA couldn’t and sank a beautiful putt to salvage half a point and cap off a sensationally dominant day for Europe.