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While You Were Sleeping, The US Ryder Cup Team Pissed Down Their Leg And Dug Themselves A 4-0 Hole

ALBERTO PIZZOLI. Getty Images.

What a joke. I'm absolutely beside myself here at 6 AM. Stayed up all night, bodied a couple red bulls, downed some coffee, popped some prescription drugs… you know. The works. Whatever it takes to get through watching and blogging all this golf and also getting through the typical 9-5 on Friday. I know there are plenty of golf nuts out there in a similar boat, who have waited 2 years for this and have made some sacrifices just to watch this thing in then middle of the night.

THIS is how we're repaid? I can't stop thinking…. I set up my sleep schedule to get flipped upside down for what. For THIS? For this fucking clown show? 

It's incomprehensible how bad the Americans played this morning. All 8 of them. There was simply not a redemptive effort from a single one of them. Alternate shot is prone to significant bumps in the road but the ineptitude across the board on one side of the table here was simply incredible. 

The Europeans played very solid golf. They hit their fair share of fairways, they hit some greens, rolled some good putts… ya know. Routine golf you would expect from top tier professional golfers. If you showed me their rounds on some sort of shot tracer absent of how the Americans played, I would have expected the score to be around 2.5-1.5 in favor of Europe, maybe even deadlocked given what I know the Americans are capable of. The Europeans surely did what they were supposed to do today, and they deserved a positive result.

But by no means were they exceptional in that session. The Americans handed them those points on a platter, no question. They had a few wayward tee shots, but their approach game was virtually non-existent. Realistic birdie opportunities were very few and far between, which is always going to put you behind the 8 ball… but they also weren't even hitting the middle of greens. Repeatedly they left balls short of false fronts and in bad spots around the green, often because they took far too aggresive lines at pins. 

Even worse was that every time the Europeans showed a tiny crack in the armor and offered an opportunity to get our guys back in the match and some overall momentum, the American shot themselves in the foot. Two disgusting moments in particular stick out to me:

1.) Up 1 on the 8th hole, Fleetwood tugged his drive into a nasty lie in the left rough, and Schauffele hit the fairway. The approach on 8 is across water, so Rory was forced to simply pitch out right and actually sprayed his ball too far across into the right rough about 130 yards from the pin for their 3rd. Total gift that you dream about in match play. All Cantlay had to do was play to the right side of the green away from a tucked left pin and ensure the likelihood of a 4 and you probably win the hole and tie the match. 

He proceeded to hit it fat directly in the middle of the pond on a line directly at that dangerous pin. 

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It's obviously a horrific mishit, but IF he hit it on that line intentionally I have to question their match play awareness. Fleetwood ended up hitting a gorgeous shot out of the rough to 9 feet and Rory buried the putt to make a helluva par, but the Americans had no business losing that hole to fall to 2 down. Match should've been tied at best, down 1 at worst. Proved to be a gigantic difference maker in a match featuring America's best pairing, and really the only match the Americans had a prayer of earning any points in.

2.) Sam Burns was an absolute shitshow today, which is not what you want to see from your most controversial captain's pick. And to be fair, Rahm and Hatton took him and Scheffler to the woodshed, shooting -6 in the 15 holes they played. But there was a window for the Americans on the par 5 9th when they were 2 down to seize back some momentum. Both teams were in the fairway with around 280 in and 3 wood in hand. Burns went first, and absolutely pull hooked one into the drink left, which left the announcers dumbfounded because that wasn't even considered to be a real hazard on that approach

Hatton smartly bailed out right for safety on Europe's approach, and they pitched on and 2-putted for par. Scheffler made a helluva pitch and Burns made the putt to match their par, but it felt like such a clear and obvious moment where Burns simply didn't have the horsepower to hang in that match, and it left an opportunity on the table to shift the momentum of that match at the turn.

That type of shit was rampant this morning. Worst of all, the putting wasn't just poor… it was downright atrocious. Both Rickie and Xander (and at times Homa) especially looked lost out there. From outside 10 feet, they were missing putts by not inches… by FEET on the amateur side. Speed was nowhere near close, and it seemed as if they weren't even reading their putts. Between two players and two caddies on each team, there are EIGHT eyeballs available to read every putt. It felt like they did not do their homework whatsoever, and at times didn't even feel like they were trying given how far off these putts were missing.

Listen. I've been at this blog thing at Barstool for damn near a decade. Watched plenty of Ravens stinkers, have a lifetime of Orioles loserdom (until recently), Terps hoops was perpetually in a state of underperformance for years… I'm accustomed to disappointment. And when you really stop and think about how few sports fans truly get to experience success, it's safe to say we're all accustomed to it.

But that was as uninspired an effort as I've seen from any team I've rooted for ever. EVER.

They didn't embody a single ounce of the confidence they carried at Whistling Straits two years ago. We can pick apart the pairings all we want, but no pairing amongst those 8 players was going to come away with even a half point in that morning session.

I suppose the good news is that there's no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We're right back out there, and we're sending out a pairing that's had a ton of success together in fourball. Hard to fathom they could do any worse than the 4 pairings this morning, but the bar has to be higher than that. They need points in this session and they need them BADLY.

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There's a lot of golf left, but holy shit. Things are not looking good for team USA.