Ryder Cup: Golfweek’s predictions for Friday morning Foursomes


HAVEN, Wis. — The 43rd Ryder Cup is here. Due to the COVID pandemic, golf fans have had to wait three years instead of the normal two for this intercontinental clash.

Captains Steve Stricker (USA) and Padraig Harrington (EUR) have announced their opening lineups for Friday’s morning Foursomes session, doing so during the Opening Ceremony Thursday at Whistling Straits.

There are four groups heading out so the captains had to make some tough calls as to who to sit. For Stricker, that is Bryson DeChambeau, Harris English, Tony Finau and Scottie Scheffler. Harrington is sitting Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry and Bernd Weisberger.

Friday afternoon will feature Four-Balls but before we get there, let’s take a look at some Friday Foursomes predictions.

Friday morning Foursomes

Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia (EUR) vs. Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth (USA)

8:05 a.m. ET

Steve DiMeglio: In this powerhouse meeting, world No. 1 Rahm and Garcia, the all-time leader in points in Ryder Cup history, will get the better of Thomas and Spieth, who were 3-1-0 as partners in Paris in 2018. Rahm and Garcia have shown a bit more form of late and that makes the difference.

Adam Schupak: Where’s Michael Buffer when you need him? Let’s get ready to rumble! This is four heavyweights opening the Ryder Cup. This is exactly what we’ve been waiting for the last three years. Spieth has a 2-1-2 record in foursomes and 1-1 with Thomas. Sergio is 10-4-3 all time in the format. If he wins, he’ll be the all-time point winner in the format. Now, he’s got the world No. 1 as a partner in a new version of the Spanish Armada. I think Sergio rises to the occasion, Rahm plays with passion and Team Europe takes a point off Team USA in the lead match.

Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa (USA) vs. Paul Casey AND Viktor Hovland (EUR)

8:21 a.m. ET

Steve DiMeglio: Johnson and Morikawa seem to form a perfect fit – Johnson’s power and Morikawa’s work with his irons. Casey and Hovland look like a good fit, as well, as both are superb ball-strikers and are strong off the tee. The match goes to 18 and all square, good for a ½ point for each team.

Adam Schupak: I really like this pairing of DJ and Collin. We’re talking about the straightest driver and the best iron player in the game. That’s a winning combination to me. However, I’m concerned that neither is coming into this week in top form. This is a match that Casey and Hovland, who I think has the potential to be the Francesco Molinari figure of this Ryder Cup, can steal if either of the Americans haven’t found their mojo. But I’m picking Team USA to get a full point here.

Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick (EUR) vs. Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger (USA)

8:37 a.m. ET

Steve DiMeglio: Florida State teammates Berger and Koepka will edge European veteran Westwood and Fitzpatrick. Koepka said his health is fine, he is a four-time major champion, and Berger has played very well of late. Westwood has been off his best form since March. A win to Team USA.

Adam Schupak: I like what Stricker did here pairing two former Florida State Seminole teammates together. Berger is a birdie machine and as he said earlier in the day, team golf “brought out a different side of me that I didn’t really know I had.” He’ll bring the energy and Koepka has to deliver. Westwood and Fitzpatrick could ball-strike them to death. I have my concerns about their putting. Team USA wins this one.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele (USA) vs. Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter (EUR)

8:53 a.m. ET

Steve DiMeglio: The anchor match is loaded, too, with gold medalist Schauffele and FedEx Cup champion Cantlay facing European stars McIlroy and Poulter. The recent good form for Schauffele and Cantlay, who won the last two tournaments of the PGA Tour season, proves too much for McIlroy and Poulter, who hasn’t been at his best for some time. Tense match, to be sure, and Poulter can wake up like he has before in the Ryder Cup, but Schauffele and Cantlay, who were 2-2-0 as partners in the 2019 Presidents Cup in Australia, win out at the end. That would give the U.S., which has lost four of the last five matches but did win on home soil the last time the Ryder Cup was in the States, take a 2½-1½ lead.

Adam Schupak: This anchor match is, as the kids say these days, lit. This match alone is worth the price of admission. Patty Ice and X-Man won two matches in the foursomes format at the Presidents Cup, so this is right in their wheelhouse. But Rory and Poults? That’s a big hill to climb. These two won a memorable Fourball match in 2012 at Medinah on Saturday that flipped the entire match. Will Poulter go Poulter-geist mode? That could be the difference. Team Europe is going to need this point and I think Rory-Poulter eke this one out and the 43rd Ryder Cup will be tied 2-2 at the end of the morning session.

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