US jumps to quick start over Europe on day two of Ryder Cup

·3-min read
Collin Morikawa, left, and Dustin Johnson, right, jumped ahead early in a Saturday foursomes match at the Ryder Cup (AFP/Warren Little)

The United States carried momentum into Saturday's second day of the Ryder Cup after seizing a 6-2 edge over Europe, its largest first-day advantage in 46 years.

After dominating Friday's foursomes and four-ball matches, the Americans jumped ahead early again at Whistling straits in morning foursomes play.

"We want to continue that momentum," US captain Steve Stricker said Saturday. "Our guys are fired up still."

American Daniel Berger sank a 10-foot birdie putt to win the first hole and a five-footer to birdie the par-5 second, then won the third with a par as he and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka seized a 3-up lead over Europe's Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia.

Top-ranked Rahm and Garcia, the all-time Ryder Cup points record holder, had been the only European duo to win a match on day one with their foursomes triumph, the other points for the visitors coming on tied four-ball matches.

World number two Dustin Johnson, who won both his matches Friday, dropped his approach two feet from the cup at the opening hole and partner Collin Morikawa holed the birdie putt, then holed a seven-footer to birdie the second and give that US duo a 2-up edge over England's Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton.

Johnson stretched the advantage 47-foot chip-in to win the third hole.

With Johnson and Olympic champion Xander Sachuffele winning twice, the Americans dominated day one like they hadn't since 1975.

"It's a great start. We're very happy," Stricker said. "My message to the guys (was) let's keep our foot down and continue to play the golf we know we can play.

"That's what we're trying to do and not try to get complacent with anything. We've had some things that came up and bit us in the rear in other Ryder Cups, so these guys know that and they are focused on coming out strong again."

Holders Europe, winners in four of the past five Ryder Cups and nine of the past 12, were looking for a fightback despite the early struggles.

"Obviously we need a big day," said Europe captain Padraig Harrington.

Harrington benched Rory McIlroy for Saturday's opening foursomes matches after the four-time major winner lost twice in one day for the first time in his Ryder Cup career.

"The golf didn't go as well as he would have liked, but I'm not second-guessing him for a second in terms of his leadership and what he does for my team," Harrington said.

Other foursomes matches had US stars Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas against Norway's Viktor Hovland and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger as well as Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, a winning Friday duo, against Englishmen Lee Westwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

"Hopefully we can keep the pedal down and keep doing more of the same," said Cantlay, the US PGA playoff champion.

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