The 2018 Ryder Cup started Friday from Le Golf National near Paris, France, with a four-match session of fourballs (also known as best ball). The afternoon session would feature four matches of foursomes (also known as alternate shot).
The opening session was won by the Americans 3-1 over Europe, with three American wins and one European victory in the final match on the card.
However, the afternoon matches represented a total momentum shift for Europe, with the home team sweeping the foursomes session for the first time in Ryder Cup history (this is the 42nd Ryder Cup) to take a 5-3 advantage heading into Day 2.
Of the nine prior times a side has swept a session in Ryder Cup history, that team has gone on to win or retain the Ryder Cup every time.
2018 Ryder Cup: Friday morning fourballs recap
Match 1: Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau win 1 Up vs. Jon Rahm and Justin Rose -- The new European duo of Rose and Rahm were leading the two long-hitting Americans nearly the entire way, with the US only pulling level at No. 6 just to lose the seventh hole.
The Americans finally took the lead when Tony Finau got a massive break with a bounce off the bulkhead dividing land from water at the par-3 16th. Finau's birdie took the US 1 up with two to play. When Rose's approach to the peninsula-green 18th found the water, Rahm needed a 17-foot par putt to salvage a halve. It raced by, giving the United States a shocking opening win.
Match 2: Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler win 4 and 2 vs. Rory McIlroy and Thorbjorn Olesen -- The Europeans never stood a chance in this match, as McIlroy was the only player among the 16 in the morning session to go without a birdie. After an initial European win on the eighth hole, the Americans won five of the next nine holes to lock up a 4-and-2 win for the first-time Johnson-Fowler pairing.
Match 3: Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas win 1 up vs. Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton -- In the first seven holes, the Americans raced out to a 3-up lead, with Spieth and Thomas prevailing on the back of giving themselves each consistent opportunities to score.
However, starting on the 11th hole the Europeans rallied for three consecutive wins to tie the match. Thomas, however, stymied the European charge with a birdie on the par-4 15th to retake the lead. A Spieth par on the closing hole secured the win.
Match 4: Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari win 3 and 1 vs. Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed -- A closer match than the score indicates, the European side rallied on hot putters from long range in the closing holes. On No. 15, Fleetwood made a winning birdie from the fringe, only to follow up with a long birdie on the par-3 16th.
A hole later, with Molinari and Fleetwood on the putting surface, the Americans couldn't hole either of their similar last-ditch uphill pitch shots from just off the green. Following a Fleetwood lag to set up a nearly certain par, Molinari holed his 20-foot birdie putt to end the match.
Session score: USA 3 - Europe 1
Total score: USA 3 - Europe 1
2018 Ryder Cup: Friday afternoon foursomes recap
Match 5: Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson win 3 and 2 vs. Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler -- After a tense first four holes, the Europeans took advantage of three-straight American bogeys to get out to a 3-up lead. It got as bad as a 5-hole advantage for the Europeans before Fowler and Johnson rallied for wins on Nos. 12 and 13 to offer a glimmer of hope. However, the Americans weren't able to sustain the rally, halving the final three holes of the match to run out the clock.
Match 6: Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy win 4 and 2 vs. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson -- Watson and Simpson sat in the morning, with Watson saying earlier in the week he's so under the weather he's shaking hands with elbows. After the US side won two of the first three holes, the Americans lost the plot. The Europeans won four consecutive holes to close the front nine and turn with a 2-up lead.
The Americans couldn't take advantage at No. 10, where McIlroy chipped his team's third shot in the bunker. Bogeys on Nos. 12 and 13 secured the US fate, and Watson conceded defeat on the 16th hole after a poor pitch shot.
Match 7: Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren win 5 and 4 vs. Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau -- This one was over before it started. Mickelson and DeChambeau both played poorly, particularly Mickelson, and Europe took advantage by winning seven of the first nine holes. Essentially dormie at the turn, Europe just waited it out. The US won three of the first four holes on the back but needed to win out from No. 14 on to salvage a half point. When the 14th was halved in birdie 4s, the match was mercifully over.
Match 8: Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood win 5 and 4 over Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas -- The Good Buddies were not competitive in this match against what appears to be Europe's best duo this week. Spieth and Thomas made a mess around the golf course, winning just two holes and making a single birdie. Despite that, Spieth and Thomas were just 3 down through 12 holes. However, the Americans made a mess of No. 13 to lose to a Euro par, and then they couldn't secure a birdie on No. 14 to complete the European sweep.
Session score: Europe 4 - USA 0
Total score: Europe 5 - USA 3