Thomas, Spieth tasked with leading USA Ryder Cup fightback

golf29 September 2023 17:13| © AFP
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Jordan Spieth © Getty Images

United States captain Zach Johnson responded to his side's dismantling by Europe on the first day of the Ryder Cup by sending out Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas first for Saturday morning's foursomes session.


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The Americans will need to fight back after giving up a 6.5-1.5 deficit without winning a match on Friday.

Spieth and Thomas have won 4.5 points from seven Ryder Cup matches as a duo after halving with Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton in Friday afternoon's fourballs after being surprisingly left out for the opening session of the Ryder Cup.

They will take on Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood who sealed a clean sweep for Europe of the first foursomes by beating Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.

"We've put ourselves in a spot where every session is extremely important and at the end of the day, it's just all anybody can do is control their match," said Thomas.

"You can't win more than one point in one match, and just go out and do your job and win as many as we possibly can tomorrow and get back in it going into singles."

Johnson has also broken up the pairing of good friends Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns after their heavy defeat by Jon Rahm and Hatton in the opening match, replacing Burns with Brooks Koepka.

World No 1 Scheffler and Koepka will play Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg in the second contest.

European skipper Luke Donald has kept together all four of his foursomes pairs, with Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka to face Max Homa and Brian Harman.

Rahm and Hatton have dropped back from the first slot to the bottom match, where Schauffele and Cantlay await.

Pairings for the second foursomes session on Saturday morning (tee-off times GMT):

0535: Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood (EUR) v Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas (USA)

0550: Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg (EUR) v Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka (USA)

0605: Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka (EUR) v Max Homa and Brian Harman (USA)

0620: Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton (EUR) v Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele (USA)