Europe complete historic whitewash to take Ryder Cup lead

A massive blue wave rocked the visiting Americans at Le Golf National on Friday afternoon, as Team Europe won all four foursomes matches to turn a 1-3 deficit into a 5-3 lead.

For the first time in 29 years, Team Europe completed a 4-0 whitewash in a single session to totally turn the tables on the Americans, who had bossed the morning fourballs.

It was also the first time in history that Europe won all four foursomes matches in a session.

The damage started with European duo Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose, who claimed a 3&2 victory over World No 1 Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler.

After Rose’s partnership with Jon Rahm didn’t work out in the morning, Bjorn paired the Englishman with Stenson, who was making his debut after sitting out the fourballs.

The change worked a charm, as the pair won no less than five of the first 11 holes to knock the stuffing out of Johnson and Fowler. The Americans reduced the deficit by winning the 12th and 13th, but couldn’t make any further inroads, eventually surrendering the match on the 16th green.

The second match, pitting Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy against Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, was also decided on the 16th, as the Europeans wrapped up another dominant 4&2 win.

McIlroy had looked out of sorts in the morning alongside a nervous-looking Thorbjorn Olesen, but looked a different player with Poulter in support.

Watson and Simpson were actually 2-up early on but all that changed after Poulter and McIlroy won four straight holes from the sixth, leaving their opponents with too much to do on the back nine.

Europe’s third pair – Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren – were both making their debuts in the afternoon, but Bjorn is unlikely to overlook either of them again after they routed Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau 5&4.

The match was basically over by the ninth hole, at which point Garcia and Noren were already 7-up, having won five straight from the fifth.

And Europe’s final pair Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood didn’t disappoint either. The duo who earned Europe’s only point of the morning session made it two wins from two as they thumped hotshot duo Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth 5&4.

It was yet another one-sided affair, with the Europeans winning three of the first six holes to go 3-up and extending their lead on the back nine to bring the match to a hasty conclusion on the 14th hole.

The afternoon’s results have left Jim Furyk with a lot of thinking to do, as the changes he made from the morning session all backfired spectacularly.

Having lost the USA’s only point in the fourballs, Woods was rested in the afternoon, but the players coming in like Watson and Simpson fared no better.

Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka, meanwhile, were nowhere to be seen in the foursomes, despite combining beautifully to mount a comeback and hand Rose and Rahm a crushing defeat earlier on.

As for Bjorn, he’ll be left smiling from ear to ear. All his changes worked a charm, and pivotal players like McIlroy and Rose were able to restore much of the confidence they’d lost in the morning by combining to great effect with new partners.

Having said that, it remains early days in the competition, with no less than 20 points still up for grabs over over the weekend.

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