CHASKA, Minn. — Capsules of Saturday’s matches at the Ryder Cup:
Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters, Europe, def. Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson, United States, 4 and 2.
Fowler rolled in a 25-foot putt on the opening hole, and when the cheers subsided, Pieters matched him from 20 feet. That set the tone, and Europe was more than up to the task. McIlroy made birdie on No. 2, and Europe took advantage of Fowler mistakes on the next two holes. The Americans had momentum when Mickelson made a 60-foot par putt to halve No. 8, won No. 9 when McIlroy missed a short putt, and Mickelson made a birdie on the 10th. Fowler missed big putts, however, and Pieters delivered a late birdie to regain command.
Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka, United States, def. Henrik Stenson and Matt Fitzpatrick, Europe, 3 and 2.
Snedeker and Koepka built an early 2-up lead on European mistakes, and but they squared the match through 11 holes. The Americans took over from there, particularly Snedeker and his putting. They made four straight birdies to close out the match. Fitzpatrick made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 14th, only for Snedeker to made a 10-footer to halve the hole. The Americans went to 2 up with another birdie on the 15th, and Fitzpatrick hit into the water trying to reach the green on the par-5 16th.
Justin Rose and Chris Wood, Europe, def. Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson, United States, 1 up.
Europe never trailed, though it also threw a match away at the end. Johnson, typically a reliable putter, missed a short par putt on the 13th hole as the Americans fell 3 down with five holes to play. Walker birdied the next hole to cut the deficit to 2 down. Europe was 2 up on the par-5 16th and the Americans had to lay up. Rose went for the green from 250 yards and put it in the water. The Americans had a chance to get a half point, but Johnson caught a flyer out of the rough on No. 18 and went long.
Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello, Europe, halved with Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth, United States.
Spieth and Reed never looked better, making five birdies in seven holes, an astounding score for alternate shot. They were 3 up through seven holes, and when Garcia missed a 2-foot putt on the 11th, the Americans were 4 up with seven holes to play. Cabrera Bello halved the 12th with a birdie, and it was a big putt. The Americans began making mistakes, the Spaniards made birdies and they won four of the next five holes to square the match. On the 18th, Spieth missed the fairway, Reed missed the green, and Reed had to make a 5-foot par putt just to earn a half-point in a match the Americans thought they had won all along.
Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters, Europe, def. Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, United States, 3 and 1.
McIlroy and Pieters played 49 holes in three matches. Not only did they never trail, the matches were level after only four of those holes. They were unstoppable in this match, with Pieters giving them a 2-up lead when he drove the fifth green and holed the eagle putt. The turning point came on the par-3 eighth when Johnson and Koepka three-putted for bogey, and then McIlroy hit one stiff on the ninth for birdie to go 4 up. Johnson made a pair of birdies to cut the deficit to 2 down after 12, but Pieters answered with a birdie. Europe combined to go 11 under through 17 holes.
J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore, United States, def. Danny Willett and Lee Westwood, Europe, 1 up.
The match that got the least amount of attention proved to be the most pivotal. Europe never trailed for 16 holes, though it never led by more than 1 hole. Holmes squared the match with a birdie on the 13th and it was all square going to the par-3 17th when Europe gave it away with a bogey. Willett and Westwood appeared to bounce back on the 18th and were poised for a half with Willet facing an 8-foot birdie putt and Westwood stuffing his shot into 2 feet. Willett missed, and then Westwood shockingly shoved his short birdie putt that would have given Europe a halve.
Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar, United States, def. Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia, Europe, 4 and 3.
Kuchar opened with two birdies to halve the holes, and the Americans were 1 up at the turn. Mickelson made another big birdie, and did a little shimmy, on the 10th hole, and then came a wild exchange. Garcia holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 12th to cut the deficit to 1 down, only for Kuchar to respond with a 50-foot birdie putt on the next hole to restore the lead. Mickelson took it from there with a wedge to 5 feet for birdie on the 14th. Garcia kept the match alive with a birdie on the 16th, and a clutch birdie on the 17th. Mickelson, however, made a 4-foot birdie on the 17th to close it out.
Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth, United States, def. Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, Europe,
Stenson opened with a birdie and Europe was 1 up through four holes when the Patrick Reed show began. He made birdie on No. 5 to square the match. He holed a wedge for eagle to give the Americans their first lead. He followed with two more birdies for a 3-up lead, and the Americans were on their way. Stenson and Rose made consecutive birdies on the 12th and 13th holes to cut the deficit to 1 down, and for a moment it looked as the Reed and Spieth might let another lead slip away. Reed, however, birdied the next two holes to regain control.