Saturday, 29 September 2018
Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari  (Getty Images)
Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari (Getty Images)

Tommy Fleetwood admitted to being “a little bit emotional” after he and Francesco Molinari became the first European pair in Ryder Cup history to win all four matches as Europe established a 10-6 lead at Le Golf National.

Thomas Bjørn's team came into the second day with a 5-3 advantage after recording the biennial contest's first-ever whitewash in Friday afternoon's foursomes.

Europe extended their lead by taking the morning fourballs 3-1, before the afternoon foursomes finished 2-2. 

Fleetwood and Molinari's victory followed a 2 and 1 win for Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose over Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, while Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson beat Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren 3 and 2 and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas were 4 and 3 winners against Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter.

The piece of history together - it's very special - Tommy Fleetwood

Open Champion Molinari and last year's Race to Dubai winner Fleetwood recorded a thumping 4 and 3 victory over Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed in the morning, before extending their perfect Ryder Cup record in the afternoon with a 5 and 4 foursomes victory over Woods and Bryson DeChambeau in the afternoon.

“A little bit emotional right now - we're only on Saturday,” Fleetwood said. “We were really, really good this afternoon. 

“We played really solid, we played really well. The piece of history together - it's very special.”

Molinari added: “We came here to do a job, and it wasn't to go in the records books or anything like that, it's about the team, it's about getting to 14 1/2. 

“We're getting closer, but those points we're going to need tomorrow, we're going to have to fight hard for them. It's not going to be easy.” 

Fleetwood got the ball rolling in the afternoon when he stuck his approach to five feet at the first and Molinari birdied to put them one up, with the roles reversed at the second as Europe extended their lead in match three.

A gain at the ninth saw Fleetwood and Molinari turn five up, but DeChambeau and Woods responded to win the tenth and 11th with birdies.

Fleetwood stopped the rot by holing a ten footer at the 12th and when the Americans failed to match Europe's birdie on the long 14th the contest was over.

Stenson and Rose continued their productive partnership with a tense victory in the afternoon's top game.

Stenson almost put Europe in water at the first but Europe won the fourth and eighth to turn one up and doubled their lead with a par at the tenth.

We didn't play the dream golf - ​Justin Rose

America took the 12th only for Rose to hole from five feet at the 13th to restore a two-hole lead and, although Koepka's fine approach to two feet at the 15th reduced the gap, a European par at the 17th avoided a trip down the 18th.

“Henrik and I have kind of owned that number one spot the last couple Ryder Cups,” Rose said.

“Henrik and I played such a steady, similar game, and obviously Henrik's statistics is unbelievable tee-to-green, foursomes he's so impressive, and he's a dream partner, really.

“We didn't play the dream golf. I don't think we kicked into gear 100 per cent, but we did enough.”

Simpson and Watson were excellent in overcoming Garcia and Noren, winning five holes before the turn – four of them with birdies.

Garcia and Noren took the tenth with a par, but Simpson's excellent approach at the 14th set up a birdie and despite Noren firing to tap-in range at the 16th, the United States matched Europe's birdie to close out the match.


McIlroy and Poulter won the first two holes against Spieth and Thomas but the Americans took four out of five holes from the fourth.

Thomas holed a 20 footer at the 11th and a gain on the 13th left the European pair with too much to do. 

Earlier, Fleetwood and Molinari's morning triumph had come as part of a record run of eight consecutive European points across three sessions. 

Tyrrell Hatton and Paul Casey were a combined nine under par in their impressive 3 and 2 win against Johnson and Rickie Fowler, while Garcia and McIlroy beat Tony Finau and Koepka 2 and 1.

Thomas and Spieth stopped the rot in the anchor game with a 2 and 1 victory over Poulter and Jon Rahm.

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