Ryder Cup 2018: USA takes commanding 3-1 lead over Europe

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: Tony Finau of the United States plays a shot during the morning fourball matches of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on September 28, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

It’s advantage USA after Friday’s opening session of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris.

The Americans lead Europe 3-1 after the morning fourballs, with the foursomes matches — in which players use the same ball and hit alternate shots — set to take place later in the day.

A raucous atmosphere greeted golfers at the first tee, with six thousand fans packed into the towering grandstand.

Europe’s sole point came from the morning’s final match, which saw Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood beat Woods, fresh from a first PGA Tour win since 2013, and Patrick Reed.

The US pairing of Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson clinched the first point of the competition, beating the pairing of rookie Thorbjorn Olesen and an out-of-sorts Rory McIlroy.

World No. 2 Justin Rose, who won the $10m FedEx Cup last weekend, and Jon Rahm looked in control against three-time major winner Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau, leading by two holes heading into the back nine.

But the Americans won three of the final six holes to seal the point.

There was drama at the sixth hole when Keopka’s wayward tee shot hit a woman in the face.

She was treated by staff, who bandaged her head before sending her to hospital as a precaution. Reportedly the woman suffered no serious injuries.

Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas eventually got the better of Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton to claim a third point for the Americans.

Casey and Hatton, playing in his first Ryder Cup, trailed by three through the first seven holes before winning three straight holes between 11 and 13 to level the scores.

But the US pair bounced back, with Thomas recording a birdie at 15 to establish a decisive lead.

Team USA is the defending champion having comprehensively beaten Europe at Hazeltine in 2016.

The first team to win 14.5 points will clinch the Ryder Cup. For the defender, 14 points will retain the Cup.

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