Ryder Cup 2021 live updates: Team USA in command late on Day 1 at Whistling Straits – Golf Digest

The 43rd Ryder Cup is finally upon us. A year after its postponement, we’ve endured that brutal extra Thursday of waiting (can we draft a petition to start this on Thursday?!); a brutal opening ceremony—and Day 1 is here.

(Scroll down for the latest updates)

Four-ball time at the Ryder Cup. After a blistering start by Team USA, including strong performances by the rookies, the European squad has some catching up to do on Day 1. Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele will be split up for the afternoon sessions, but they will both be part of what’s to come. Big moment here for both sides with the U.S. having a chance to enter the weekend with a dominant lead and the Europeans trying to keep everything close.

Ryder Cup 2021 latest updates (all times eastern):

7:30 p.m.: Justin Thomas’ birdie try comes up shy at the 18th hole, so we have another halve on Day 1 fourballs. Team USA will have its largest lead after the first day since 1975 at Laurel Valley … leading the Europeans 6 and 2 … as the Americans look to retake the Ryder Cup back. 

Per Justin Ray, teams that have led by at least three points after the first day have won the Ryder Cup four out of five times. The lone exception: The American comeback at Brookline in 1999 when the Europeans led by four after the first day. That’s how big Friday was for Team USA … the Europeans would need a Brookline here in Wisconsin.

7:21 p.m.: Justin Thomas and Viktor Hovland both hit good shots in the last match—each player will have putts for birdie at 18 and a chance to secure a full point for their side. For the Europeans, a half point at least would go a long way heading into the weekend.

7:07 p.m.: Justin Thomas’ birdie bid at the 17th just misses on the high side, and Viktor Hovland’s try from long range also just missed, so we’re heading into the 18th hole all-square. 

7:02 p.m.: Tyrrell Hatton birdies the 18th hole to earn a half point for Team Europe—a huge half point in what will otherwise be a losing session for the Europeans. Hatton hadn’t done much over the past 2, 3 hours, so that will be big for his confidence heading into the weekend.

Bryson and Scheffler played great … and all in all, to earn a half point against the World No. 1 who played fantastic golf all day, that’s a decent result for Team USA. Both sides likely happy with that one.

Team USA 5 1/2, Team Europe 1 1/2 with one match to go this afternoon.

Back in the anchor match, JT hits the green at the par-3 17th, but Viktor Hovland hits its slightly inside of him with the match tied.

6:54 p.m.: Oh MY! Justin Thomas BURIES the eagle putt at the 16th hole … turning to the crowd before the putt was even in the hole. Serious Tiger vs. Ancer at the Presidents Cup vibes. JT is on an absolute rampage now … they have squared up that final match. That would be tough for the Europeans to lose that one after being in the control the entire afternoon. Momentum’s now with the U.S. in the final match:america:

6:53 p.m.: Team Europe hits two good approaches into the 18th hole in the second match, with Tyrrell Hatton hitting it to about 10 feet. Scottie Scheffler found the green, but he’s a long ways away. Bryson missed the green right, so the Europeans appear to have a decent chance to at least get a half point here.

6:48 p.m.: Oh my … we have quite the turn of events in the last match. Justin Thomas has smoked his fairway wood from 280 yards out at the 16th hole to within about 18 feet or so. Just an incredible shot. And Tommy Fleetwood, who was about 25 yards closer, turned his approach into Lake Michigan. Goodness … huge advantage for the Americans to square up this match heading into the final two holes.

6:41 p.m.: Wow: Tyrrell Hatton just burns the edge with his birdie putt on the 17th hole that would’ve given the Europeans a chance heading into the 18th hole. But he just powered it through and it doesn’t catch the edge. The Americans are guaranteed at least a half point in that match … with the chance to win this big-time match outright on the 18th hole. And hey, it’s the first time we’ve seen the home hole at Whistling Straits all week! This one’s going down to the wire.

6:37 p.m.: There we go, we finally have confirmation that the anchor match is still out on the course! Tommy Fleetwood just holed a nice 15-footer for par to tie the 15th hole, maintaining a slight 1-up lead with three to go for the Europeans … which is turning into a must-have point for the Euros. 🇪🇺 

It appears one of the European team’s leaders still thinks his side has a chance if Fleetwood and Hovland can hold on for that full point in the anchor match:

6:31 p.m.: In this crucial match between Bryson/Scheffler and Rahm/Hatton that really feels like it will set the momentum after Day 1, all four players hit the green on the extremely difficult par-3 17th. It’s playing 224 yards, but with the wind, Scheffler and his caddie said they were playing it about 260 yards. Insane. Hatton ends up closest, scaring the hole with his shot, but it rolls a good 25 feet or so past. If the Euros can’t win this hole, the Americans secure at least a halve. 

And though the Justin Thomas/Patrick Cantlay vs. Viktor Hovland/Tommy Fleetwood match hasn’t been shown on TV in at least a half hour, they are still indeed on the course. The Euros maintain a 1-up lead through 14 🇪🇺 — they’ll really need that point to avoid a potential disaster on Day 2.

6:24 p.m.: Team USA keeps the Europeans on the ropes in the second match of the afternoon after Jon Rahm holed a 22-footer for birdie from the fringe at the par-5 16th hole — Scottie Scheffler answers with a 5-footer for his birdie after a great wedge shot, and after Bryson had missed his birdie. Team USA remains 1-up in that crucial match against the World No. 1 and Tyrrell Hatton. Advantage Team USA heading to the extremely difficult par-3 17th into the wind. :america:

6:17 p.m.: And now a few minutes later, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele have secured another point for Team USA. Xander, a Ryder Cup rookie, made it look easy on Day 1, securing a big point with Patrick Cantlay in the morning and now getting a second point with DJ. The American duo defeats Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger, 2 and 1, to make it 5-1 Team USA:america:

6:14 p.m.: Tony Finau … dear LORD. He and Harris English just defeated Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry, 4 and 3. Finau was incredible all day, making six birdies on his own ball. They have just handed Rory his second loss of the day, meaning he will lose two matches on the same day of a Ryder Cup for the first time in his career. That’s the first Team USA point on the board in the afternoon, putting Team USA up 4-1. :america:

6 p.m.: That’s a huge two-putt par for Bryson DeChambeau at the 15th hole to send Team USA 1-up over Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton with three to play. The Bryson/Scottie match was the lone remaining match all-square at the moment—that could be the outcome that turns this into a true routing after Day.

Match 2: Bryson/Scheffler, 1 up over Rahm/Hatton through 15:america:

In the first match, Bernd Wiesberger had a chance for a birdie that would’ve brought him and Paul Casey to within one with two play—but they are now dormie, 2 down with two to play. Big advantage: Team USA. :america:

5:50 p.m.: That could have been the winner. Tony Finau misses a chance for birdie—would’ve been his seventh of the day—to put McIlroy and Lowry away. Still plenty of time to finish it for Finau and English, but as the announcers point out, that would have been a great chance for a fist-pump celebration. Maybe next time… English and Finau remain 4-up with four to play. Another big advantage, USA :america:

5:43 p.m.: Chants on Tony across Whistling Straits and for good measure. Finau is playing phenomenal golf and he and English are close to putting away McIlroy and Lowry. If the results hold, this would be Rory’s second loss of the day, certainly not how the Northern Irishman pictured it. 

Some player-on-player crime over here. Rahm attempted to punch out from thick rough on No. 15 and ended up hitting his partner, Tyrrell Hatton, with his pitch. That’s never a good sign. Potential analogy for Team Europe’s day depending on how the rest of four-ball ends. We’ll save that for later.

5:40 p.m.: The Americans are getting close to their first victory in the four-ball competition. DJ and Schauffele are 3-up with three holes remaining. Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger have done their best, but it was certainly an uphill battle going against two of the top five golfers in the world. 

5:33 p.m.: Dual-box alert. Bryson gets close but doesn’t finish a putt and then Hovland follows that miss with a miss of his own. JT and Cantlay are just down one hole now to Fleetwood and Hovland. Things are closing in on the back nine.

Tony Finau definitely seems to be enjoying his first Ryder Cup. Finau and Harris English have full control of their match against Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry. They’re up four with five holes to play and are on fire on the greens. As the great Chris Vernon would say, “TONY FINAU, WHERE HE BE NOW?”

5:26 p.m.: Not an ace, but Patrick Cantlay comes pretty darn close. Inches away from the cup on No. 12, Team USA is in quite the position on this hole. JT follows that up with quite a nice shot of his own, but Cantlay wins the closest to the hole here. 

5:15 p.m.: Back at the 11th hole, Patrick Cantlay takes quite a long putt for birdie and doesn’t get the ball high enough to finish the job. Fleetwood tosses him his ball though, so he’s close enough.

Justin Thomas follows that Cantlay putt with a good-looking chip, but doesn’t get a break there (his words), and the Americans have given the Europeans a chance at this hole. Speaking of … Tommy Fleetwood botches a chance to go 3-up missing a makeable putt. 

4:46 p.m.: Huge, huge birdie putt from Rahm at the 11th, which squares the match up. Meanwhile, back at nine, Justin Thomas rolls in what feels like his first big putt of the day and he goes absolutely NUTS. It’s getting lit!

Quick score update for those interested in that kind of thing:

Johnson/Schauffele 3 UP over Casey/Weisberger thru 13 holes

DeChambeau/Scheffler ALL SQUARE Rahm/Hatton thru 12 holes

Finau/English 3 UP over McIlroy/Lowry thru 10 holes

Fleetwood/Hovland 2 UP over Thomas/Cantlay thru 9 holes

4:42 p.m.: DJ has gone full alpha, folks. Another long birdie at the par-3 12th has given he and Schauffele a 4 up lead. That might be curtains for Casey and Wiesberger. 

4:26 p.m.: Oh. My. Goodness. Finau, DJ, Scheffler all roll in monster putts to win their respective holes and completely hijack the Friday evening momentum. There are now three American flags on the board to one Euro flag. It comes as no coincidence that all this happened after NBC pointed out that the GOAT was in the crowd:

Might be time for Team Europe to panic. 

4:07 p.m.: Some great momentum swings as matches close in on the back nine. At No. 8, Harris English makes his first real contribution of the day, banging home a birdie putt to win the hole for he and Tony Finau, giving them a 1 up lead over McIlroy and Lowry. Big fist pump ensues. Welcome to the Ryder Cup, Harris! Up at the ninth, Rahm makes his first birdie of the match, squaring things up with DeChambeau and Scheffler. At the par-4 10th, Dustin Johnson gets up and down for birdie to give he and Schauffele a 2 up lead over Casey and Wiesberger. Chaos in these Ryder Cup streets.  

3:57 p.m.: At the sixth, Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland extend their lead to 2 up after Fleetwood holes a birdie putt from off the green and both Cantlay and Thomas lip out theirs. Meanwhile, the DJ/Schauffele lead has now shrunk to just 1 up over Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger at the turn. So much golf left, but there will be some serious second-guessing if both Cantlay and Schauffele lose their matches after being broken up by captain Stricker. OK, sorry, too early for pessimism. 

3:48 p.m.: Oh my. Bryson might be becoming an American hero before our eyes, folks. At the eighth, he walks in a lengthy birdie putt to win the hole and take a 1 up lead over Rahm and Hatton. The U.S. now leads in two matches, is tied in one and is losing the other. Crowd starting to feel it. The back nine of these matches should be extremely interesting. 

3:29 p.m.: After Jordan Spieth’s wild and momentous shot earlier, Shane Lowry also feels the effects of the course and falls while looking at his lie. Team Europe still holds an afternoon lead, winning 2 of the 4 groupings.

Looks like we jinxed it (or unjinxed it), Tony Finau does enough putting-wise to knot up his match. We’re back at one lead for each team with the other two tied.

3:15 p.m.: It happens to the best of us. Bryson’s caddie has trouble getting the flag out of the hole on a DeChambeau putt, and eventually he’s helped by the official. And now, we have a 25-footer from Rory McIlroy for eagle to allow him and Lowry to go 1-up through five holes. The Europeans now take control of two of the four matches with the U.S. only leading one.

3:07 p.m.: On the par-4 fourth hole, Patrick Cantlay misses a makeable par putt to tie up the hole, and both teams now lead one matchup. Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland have now won two holes in a row.

DJ barely misses a long putt on the seventh hole to give the Americans a 3-up lead. Still a strong showing from DJ and Schauffele, the only Team USA duo ahead at the moment.

2:51 p.m.: Some big shots back to back at Whistling Straits to break down. Viktor Hovland hits a brilliant chip-in to tie the match with Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay. Just on a perfect line for the Norwegian. That is then quickly followed by a Bryson Ryder Cup drive for the ages. DeChambeau hits quite the line on the par-5 fifth hole and has only 72 yards to go after one swing. He’ll have a chance for eagle.

And Bryson will win the hole with an eagle. After a quick scare at first, DeChambeau is doing just what he needs to. 

2:40 p.m.: It was bound to happen eventually. An amazing recovery from Tyrrell Hatton gives him and Jon Rahm the 1-up lead. It’s the first time in four-ball that any European team has a lead today, and it’s a big moment with the U.S. still ahead in two other matches. The wind is really picking up now as well, could be pivotal for the rest of the day.

2:27 p.m.: And there’s a Zac Brown Band reference. Make sure to note that on your Ryder Cup Bingo cards.

With DJ and Schauffele at 2-up now, Xander gets onto the green and the U.S. team has a great chance to go 3-up over three holes. The other matches remain the same with JT and Cantlay leading, and the other four-ball groupings are tied.

2:15 p.m.: That’s two leads for the U.S. now. Justin Thomas sinks a birdie on the first to give him and Cantlay an early 1-up lead. 

2:03 p.m.: The guy is feeling it right now. Xander Schauffele gets Team USA on the board with a 28-foot birdie putt, promptly followed by two European misses. We finally have a lead. Schauffele and DJ take a 1-up lead.

2:00 p.m.: The final four-ball matchup is on the tee, Patrick Cantlay/Justin Thomas and Tommy Fleetwood/Viktor Hovland. JT had a slow start to the day, especially on the green, but here’s a big opportunity to get some points after a disappointing morning. 

1:50 p.m: Now that’s a shot. Dustin Johnson places it right next to the flag on the third hole, which will give the Americans a great chance to take a lead. Seconds later, on the first, Finau and Lowry drain long, pressure-filled putts to keep everything tied up. The dam will break eventually … hopefully.

1:38 p.m.: Well, he’s on the green. A flop shot from Bryson saves his drive—the woman’s okay by the way—and the crowd is firmly on his side. Scheffler misses a long putt, and Rahm promptly botches a similar opportunity. Bryson ends up birdieing the hole, as does Team Europe and we’re still tied up.

It’s all happening. We have a third match starting between Tony Finau/Harris English and Rory McIlroy/Shane Lowry. It’s Lowry’s first Ryder Cup appearance.

1:31 p.m.: Uh-oh. We have a spectator hit by a Bryson drive. That was probably even odds to happen on the first day. BetMGM, please add that in the future.

It took one swing for some Bryson chaos. The Ryder Cup never disappoints. 

1:26 p.m.: Do you hear that noise? The group on the first green did. That’s Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler at the first tee getting the fans energized before taking on Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton.

1:19 p.m.: After a DJ shot that lands just off the back of the green, Wiesberger nails one right by the flag on the first green. Easily the closest to the pin of the foursome and that’ll give Team Europe a shot at an early lead in the first four-ball matchup.

A strong putt by Casey will get him right by the hole and then DJ will rocket one past. Schauffele keeps the strong start going with a huge putt knowing that Wiesberger’s so close. That’s a nice save by the American squad and Wiesberger will knot up the first hole. 

1:10 p.m.: It’s four-ball time (for the first time) at the 2021 Ryder Cup. A loud crowd at the first tee greets Paul Casey/Bernd Wiesberger and Dustin Johnson/Xander Schauffele. There’s quite an applause for Schauffele to start it out.

12:40 a.m.: With Team USA up 3 and 1, we have pairings for this afternoon’s fourballs session: 

DJ/Schauffele v Casey/Wiesberger 

DeChambeau/Scheffler v Rahm/Hatton 

Finau/English v McIlroy/Lowry

JT/Cantlay v Fleetwood/Hovland

Quick takeaways: Why would Steve Stricker not keep the Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay duo together? They were dominant over Rory/Poulter. That’s a bit of a shock. It’s perhaps not shocking that Jordan Spieth is sitting for fourballs, but to see Cantlay and JT paired together is surprising…

It seems like this was Stricker’s plan all along, but maybe he should’ve adjusted after seeing how great Schauffele/Cantlay played together this morning.

Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia were also dominant over JT/Spieth in the morning, so it seems odd to break up the new Spanish Armada at this point. But it must’ve been Paddy Harrington’s plan to sit Sergio for fourballs all along. Makes sense in theory … but if Rahm and Hatton don’t get a point, Harrington will be second-guessed.

Of course, it’s easy to second-guess this now—if Team USA has another strong session this afternoon, Stricker can laugh in our face.

12:22 p.m.: OK, a lot happened there on the 17th hole of the final match. First to hit with the U.S. two up with two to play, Daniel Berger hit what you might describe as a low trap shank … his ball settling in the thick stuff to the right of the green. That opened the door for Team Europe. But they did not capitalize. Lee Westwood did the same thing, coming up short in the same spot. Both teams halve with bogeys … good enough for a Team USA win.  

Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger edge Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick in the final match of the morning, 2 and 1. That gives the U.S. a 3-1 lead after morning foursomes. :america:

We expect the afternoon pairings to come out in the next couple of minutes … stay tuned.

12:15 p.m.: Four down with four to play, Ian Poulter needed to hole a long birdie putt to keep the last match of the morning session alive. Mr. Ryder Cup had the putt on line buttttt it lacked enough pace. The hats are off, and it’s a 5 and 3 victory for Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay. That’s a huge victory for Team USA over one of the strongest duos from Team Europe. This golf course might be too much for Ian Poulter … particularly in an alternate-shot format. But Rory McIlroy certainly didn’t pick him up. Live score: Team USA 2, Team Europe 1 :america:

12:04 p.m.: Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay have been absolutely on fire all day. They just matched Team Europe’s birdie with one of their own at the 14th hole. That keeps Team USA up four with four to go. That’s the sixth birdie of the match for Schauffele/Cantlay, who were aided by some poor play from the Europeans to start … a deficit Team Europe likely won’t be able to erase. Big advantage: Team USA. :america:

12 p.m.: Team USA leads in the remaining three matches of the morning session—a great chance to get out to a big lead against the Europeans in a format that has favored Europe.

And just as we type that, DJ and Morikawa birdie the par-5 16th hole, and Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland fail to match, so Team USA wins its first point of the Ryder Cup, 3 and 2. We’re all knotted up, 1-1.

11:53 a.m.: Oh my… Jordan Spieth just hit one of the best shots of the year. From 12 feet below the green surface at the par-3 17th hole — with no stance to speak of — Spieth threw his flop shot way high in the air and got it to stop about 7 feet from the hole. Meanwhile, Spieth nearly ran into Lake Michigan from the momentum of his shot. Just absolutely incredible heroics from Spieth to try to save the match.

Ugh, JT misses the 7-footer that would’ve given the U.S. a chance to extend the match to the 18th hole. And JT just killed this highlight-reel moment. Still incredible from Spieth, but ultimately for naught. That kind of sums up the duo’s Friday morning … they just couldn’t ham and egg it, and JT really struggled in general.

Europe wins the first point, with Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia winning Match 1, 3 and 1. Europe leads: 1-0. 🇪🇺

11:41 a.m.: Team USA extended the first match to the 17th hole with a win at 16, but Justin Thomas’ tee shot just got kinddddd of unlucky but also the result of a poor hit. JT’s tee shot at the par-3 17th hit HARD and shot left across the green into a gnarly lie on the other side. Sergio played to safety and hit the green, leaving Rahm about 50 feet for birdie. Spieth will need to do something special to attempt to win this hole and take the match to the 18th hole. Huge advantage in this match: Team Europe 🇪🇺

Huge advantage in morning foursomes: Team USA :america:

11:35 a.m.: To the surprise of no one, Poulter and McIlroy are not going away. After Xander Schauffele damn near made an ace at the par-3 12th, Poulter drains a birdie putt to halve the hole and keep their momentum alive. He and McIlroy won 10 and 11, making it a match. They are 3 down with six to play. Another match U.S. looked like it might run away with, Koepka and Berger vs. Westwood and Fitzpatrick, is suddenly tight, too. Koepka had a short birdie putt to go three up with four to play and missed, allowing Westwood to halve the hole with a par. Up at 16, Thomas and Spieth keep the match alive, winning with a birdie. They are 2 down with two to play. 

11:25 a.m.: At the 15th, Spieth leaves Thomas with about 12 feet for birdie, while Rahm left Garcia with a lengthy one. And wouldn’t you know it, Garcia buries his and Thomas bricks his. Team Spain, 3 up with 3 to play. Wild turn of events. Best JT and Spieth can do now is halve. 

11:15 a.m.: Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter have won a hole. We repeat, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter have won a hole. They are now just 4 down through 10. Honestly, credit to them for hanging in. Speaking of hanging in, Paul Casey almost hit it into Lake Michigan at the 13th hole, then he and Viktor Hovland saved par to win the hole and cut DJ and Morikawa’s lead to 2 down. The vagaries of match play. Fifteen minutes ago it felt like the U.S. might cruise to a 3-1 morning session. Now, we’re not so sure. 

11 a.m.: Oh boy, the U.S. has grabbed some serious MO. They now lead three of the matches, all of them by at least 2 up or more. Meanwhile, in the only match they are losing (JT/Spieth vs. Rahm/Garcia), Spieth and Thomas just cut Team Spain’s 3 up lead to 2 up, and at the 14th hole Thomas has given Spieth a great look at birdie while Rahm is facing a long putt from the front of the green. If they cut this to 1 down, watch out. A morning American sweep is not out of the question. 

10:42 a.m.: How bad has it gotten for Poulter and McIlroy? The Englishman had a six-footer for par to win a hole and he missed it so badly that the next one wasn’t conceded. McIlroy did wind up making it for the halve, putting them 5 down through eight. It’s not an absolute wax job, at least, but they are definitely in deep trouble. 

As for the other matches, Rahm and Garcia remain in control, 3 up through 11, while Koepka and Berger just got a huge win at the 10th to take a 1 up lead. At 11, Dustin Johnson, who leads 1 up with Collin Morikawa over Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland, just knocked a wedge in tight. Johnson is fully engaged, a terrifying prospect for the Euro squad. 

10:18 a.m.: Ugly showing so far from Spieth and JT. At the 10th, Thomas came up way short with a wedge while Sergio stuffed one to kick-in range for Rahm. Team Spain is now 3 up through 10, and while they are playing well, the U.S.’s best buds duo isn’t exactly challenging them. 

10:14 a.m.: Poulter and McIlroy finally stop the bleeding, halving the sixth hole. They remain 5 down. As it stands, the U.S. currently leads three of the four matches. LOT of golf to play, however. 

10:06 a.m.: The duo of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele are (extreme Dennis Green voice) WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE. They are now 5 up through five holes, putting Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter in danger of getting Stephen Ames’d. We knew X and Cantlay would be good, but this good? Pretty special to watch. 

9:52 a.m.: Rahm is ROLLING it. The U.S. Open champ drains another lengthy one and double fist-pumps it as he and Garcia take a 2 up lead through eight holes. Team Spain has all kinds of momentum right now. 

9:43 a.m.: That was a big minute for the Americans: Collin Morikawa stuffed his approach at the fifth hole, and Dustin Johnson converts the birdie make to push their match to All Square through 5. 

And Daniel Berger/Brooks Koepka are back to 2-up over Lee Westwood/Matt Fitzpatrick with a U.S. win at the fifth hole, Koepka converting the putt there. 

9:37 a.m.: The vagaries of match play! After Justin Thomas hit a fantastic tee shot at the par-3 seventh hole, Sergio Garcia follows suit with a great shot of his own. First to putt, Jon Rahm buries the birdie putt, and Jordan Spieth pushes his try … now the Europeans are back to 1-up in that first match.

9:33 a.m.: There is a boat race happening on the shores of Lake Michigan. Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay are now 3-up through three holes against the veteran duo of Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter. Rory and Poulter are playing some poor golf, but Cantlay/Xander are proving this duo of rookies is going to be tough to sit out. 

9:27 a.m.: Some trouble for Team Florida State in the third match … they’re in for double bogey after Brooks Koepka’s tee shot was way left … then Daniel Berger could barely advance it. Koepka nearly killed someone with his chip shot. Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood trim that deficit to one through four holes.

Oh baby, we have some tasty non-gimmes already in the first match. Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth just made Sergio Garcia hole a 2-footer to halve the hole at No. 6. Incredible … there’s going to be no love lost in the first match. They are all square through six.

9:18 a.m.: Jordan Spieth put his partner in a spot of bother at the short par-4 sixth hole, coming off that nice putt made. Spieth pushed his hybrid way right into a pot bunker, but Justin Thomas has saved it with a solid approach to find the green. The Americans would do well to get a halve there in Match 1.

9:13 a.m.: Trouble for the Europeans in the first match at the par-5 fifth hole. Jon Rahm’s approach found the water in front of the difficult fifth green … and the Americans capitalize with a birdie. That match is now back to all-square.

We had 2 European leads and 2 American leads, but that’s now an advantage for the Americans, with two leads (Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger 2-up through 3, Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele 1-up through one) and the Euros up in one (Paul Casey/Viktor Hovland 1-up through four).

9:10 a.m.: The Europeans officially have a lead in the second match. Dustin Johnson’s drive was wayward at the fourth hole, and Collin Morikawa’s 13-footer for par comes up shy. Casey/Hovland have won three holes in a row to go 1-up.

9:03 a.m.: What an absolute bomb putt from Jon Rahm at the fourth hole. From off the green, Rahm buries one from nearly 70 feet … and it surely would’ve rolled out 5-6 feet past if it hadn’t gone in the hole. But the Europeans take an early 1-up lead with the big putt there from Rahm in the first match.

8:57 a.m.: Dustin Johnson misses a makable putt for birdie at the par-3 third hole in Match No. 2 after a very nice tee shot from Collin Morikawa that JUST caught the proper tier and rolled close to the hole.

Problem is the Europeans were closer after a great tee shot from Paul Casey. Viktor Hovland buries the birdie putt to erase the Team USA lead there through three holes.

So to sum up, in his first Ryder Cup, Viktor Hovland has nearly holed out for eagle from the fairway and now has buried a birdie putt to win the third hole for Team Europe. What a start for the young stud from Norway.

8:49 a.m.: Oh boy … after a sensational wedge shot from Matt Fitzpatrick at the first hole, Lee Westwood has bricked a five-footer for birdie that would’ve put the Euros 1-up in Match No. 3. 

Westy hasn’t exactly been known for his clutch putting throughout his career, but that was a bad miss. Early on, Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger dodge a bullet.

In Match #2, Dustin Johnson/Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland/Paul Casey go good-good at the par-5 second hole. Hovland nearly holed out from the fairway with his approach … the U.S. is AS there to start.

8:43 a.m.: The lead for the Americans in the first match has now been erased: Jon Rahm holes a 12-footer or so for a birdie, set up by a nice tee shot by Sergio Garcia on the par-3 third hole. All-square in Match 1.

Match 3 (Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger vs. Lee Westwood/Matt Fitzpatrick) is now on the course. And this was too funny … Sky Sports did Berger (sp) dirty:

Maybe that’s Sky Sports’ attempt at gamesmanship…

8:35 a.m.: That’s a huge couple minutes for Team USA. Dustin Johnson hit a sensational shot on the first hole to about 10 feet from the upslope in the rough, and Collin Morikawa buried the birdie putt to put the U.S. one up in the second match. (Paul Casey nearrrrrly holed a lengthy birdie try.)

Then Justin Thomas holed his 7-footer for birdie on the par-5 second hole to go 1-up through 2 in their match after Sergio Garcia hit a poor second shot. 

Early advantage: Team USA.

8:25 a.m.: The second match of the day is off—European veteran Paul Casey finds the fairway while U.S. rookie Collin Morikawa finds the rough in front of the fairway bunker at No. 1. Early advantage here to the Europeans—with two extremely talented rookies (Viktor Hovland) in this match squared up against two of the Ryder Cups older players.

8:10 a.m.: It took 1,090 days from when the Europeans celebrated their 2018 win at Le Golf National until the first tee shots were hit at Whistling Straits—but here we are. The Ryder Cup is officially underway with the tone-setting first match of the day (Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia vs. Justin Thomas/Jordan Spieth).

Sergio hit first for the Europeans and found a bunker off the tee, whereas JT striped one down the middle.

Sergio nearlyyyy chipped in for birdie to win the first hole for the Europeans, then JT powered his putt to win the hole through the break. They’re all square after the first hole between Thomas/Spieth and Rahm/Sergio. Off we go!

8:05 a.m.: How about this scene on the first tee … we missed this so much!

And this was the scene when the gates opened at Whistling Straits, with fans RUSHING to the first tee. Incredible!

Here are the pin positions for Day 1 at Whistling Straits: