Luke Donald’s team achieved their first ever opening session whitewash, cruising to a 4-0 win in the foursomes. The shell-shocked visitors looked to have fought back the afternoon fourballs, before dramatically seeing their hopes of a winning point die on the 18th three times in succession.
One of these was when world No 2 Rahm holed a 25-footer up the slope on the concluding par-five, after rookie partner Nicolai Hojgaard had challenged him to “do what Seve [Ballesteros] would have done”.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT?!
Take a bow, Jon Rahm 👏 pic.twitter.com/SQ6YWBwPcw
— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) September 29, 2023
Rahm was almost in tears after the putt popped into the air before dropping, forcing the half against Koepka and world No 1 Scottie Scheffler. But the romanticism was marred when Koepka, the US PGA Champion who is the only representative of the breakaway LIV Golf League, verbally attacked the Spaniard.
“I think me and Scottie birdied . . . 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and then lost by two,” the five-time major winner said. “So yeah. I mean, I want to hit a board and pout just like Jon Rahm did. But, you know, it is what it is. Act like a child. But we’re adults. We move on.”
It is not known which incident that Koepka was referring with Rahm, although he is known as one of the most passionate golfers.
Rory McIlroy won two out of two, teaming up with Tommy Fleetwood to see off cracker pairing Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, before then joining an inspired Matt Fitzpatrick to go six up after seven and eventually win 5&3.
The last time Europe forged such a commanding Friday advantage was in 2004 in Oakland Hills. They went on to win by a then record scoreline – 18½-9½