Ryder Cup 2023 LIVE: Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood lead out unchanged Team Europe on day two as they look to build on their commanding lead


Follow Mail Sport’s live blog on day two of the Ryder Cup 2023 at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome as Team Europe lead Team USA 6.5-1.5 ahead of Saturday’s Foursomes.

Tee times and pairings

6:35am – Rory McIlroy & Tommy Fleetwood v Justin Thomas & Jordan Spieth

6:50am – Viktor Hovland & Ludvig Aberg v Scottie Scheffler & Brooks Koepka

8:05am – Shane Lowry & Sepp Straka v Max Homa and Brian Harman

8:20am – Jon Rahm & Tyrrell Hatton v Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele

Spieth lays up, Fleetwood hits the green

Spieth opts to play the safe route from a tricky lie on the right side of the fairway.

He sends his shot up the fairway and gives Thomas a good shot in.

Meanwhile, Fleetwood has a slightly better lie from the left rough. It’s worth noting that Fleetwood is ranked first on the PGA Tour for going for the green birdie or better as well as coming in fifth for scrambling.

He lofts a lovely wedge into the heart of the green, with the ball catching on the dancefloor before trickling towards the flag.

Were team USA underprepared?

Andrew Coltart yesterday slammed the US Team’s inadequate preparation ahead of the tournament this weekend.

The Sky Sports pundit, who took on Tiger Woods in the singles of the 1999 Ryder Cup, raised questions over the decision by some of the US Team’s players to take five weeks off ahead of the tournament.

‘I have a massive question, and Zach Johnson is going to get hit with this,’ Coltart told Sky Sports.

‘Who on earth in their right mind thinks the best way to prepare for a Ryder Cup is to take five weeks off?

‘Absolutely, categorically, no,’ he said when asked whether Europe’s day one lead could be predicted.

‘We thought, two years ago, that they [USA] were going to be in this for the long haul – 10 years of domination.

‘But their team has been a little bit depleted… and our top players didn’t pitch up at Whistling Straits. Today that’s exactly what they did do.’

Here we go day two is underway!

Thomas pushes his drive right into the rough towards the spectators. Spieth will have a tough shot in from there.

McIlroy goes the other side, missing the fairway in the second cut. It’s not a bad view into the hole from there for Fleetwood, but it’ll be a tough one to dig out.

Here’s how Tommy Fleetwood warmed up for his round on the range…

Thomas and Spieth enter the arena!

Best friends and stalwarts of the US Team – these guys will be a tough match up.

The pair have a combined 16 points at the Ryder Cup. Together they have five majors and 28 PGA Tour career wins.

And it’s Thomas to get us underway!

Here come Fleetwood and McIlroy!

They come out arm in arm to huge applause and chants of ‘Tommy, Tommy Fleetwood!’

They were excellent yesterday, with Fleetwood dazzling with the putter in the morning session, while McIlroy’s wedge play was equally impressive.

‘An unbelievable feat’: Luke Donald

Luke Donald has just stepped out onto the first tee to greet the fans! He’s taken a pretend swing off the tee and boy I’ll bet he’d love to be out there with his sticks.

He’s named some strong pairings today with Fleetwood and McIlroy coming up against Thomas and Spieth in our opening match, and Donald says his main objective this morning is to get off to another solid start.

Donald: ‘Of course we’ll be thinking about that. But tomorrow I’m really focused on going out tomorrow morning and showing another strong session and trying to win that session.

‘That will be our only goal for tomorrow morning, and it will be some wider thoughts, obviously, for Saturday afternoon and the singles, but this is a great start, and we want to build on that lead.’

The Englishman looks pumped out there too! He’s leading the fans in a huge thunder clap, and he has reason to be! Europe were very impressive yesterday and reflecting on Friday, Donald claimed it was ‘an amazing rollercoaster.’

‘Yeah, Ryder Cups are always full of amazing roller coasters and swings throughout the day. Obviously this morning felt a lot more comfortable than this afternoon. We got off to a fast start this morning. We held it; to win 4-0 was very special. But this afternoon the U.S. for a while there were holing putts.

‘They were turning around matches. Again, we got off to a pretty good start, but they fought back. And we knew they would. They are a strong team. There’s a lot of talent on that team. But what we did going down 18 just shows the determination, the grit, the perseverance, kind of the unity of our team.

‘They never gave up, and they kept pushing till the very end. And to hole putts like Viktor did, like Jon did, and of course Rosey, right at the end, that is huge. It really looked like 3-1 at one point for the U.S. 5-3 is really — they are well back in the game. But to win that session, when it looked like 3-1, is an unbelievable feat by my guys.’

Brooks Koepka shoots fire at Jon Rahm

It’s starting to get a little fiery out there! Brooks Koepka took a swipe at Jon Rahm yesterday in his post match press conference.

It came after Scheffler hit a sensational birdie putt on 17 to give them a one-hole lead going into the 18th.

According to Sky Sport’s Rich Beem, Rahm, disappointed with his performance failing to hole out for a birdie to match Scheffler, took his frustrations out on an advertising board surrounding the tee box.

But Koepka hit out at Rahm’s actions claiming Rahm had ‘acted like a child’.

‘So yes, I mean I want to hit a board and pout just like Jon Rahm did but, you know, it is what it is. Act like a child. But we’re adults. We move on.’

T-minus 20 minutes to go!

The first tee is bouncing already!

The stats from day one

  • It is the first time Europe have had a clean sweep in the opening session.
  • It is the first time since 1989 that either side has won a session without trailing in any match.
  • Europe tied the record for haivng the largest lead going into day two – after they secured a five point lead.
  • The first time that Rory McIlroy has won both of his matches on a Friday.
  • The first time USA have not won a match in an entire day.

Sickness in the US camp?

Zach Johnson revealed in a press conference on Friday that the US Team were struggling with a sickness bug within the camp.

Yesterday was a brutal day for the Americans in Rome, suffering a 4-0 whitewash in the opening session, before going on to fail to win a match in the fourballs.

But there may be a reason for their slow start, with Johnson revealing that there may have been an illness in camp yesterday.

‘There’s been some unforeseen things that we’ve had to navigate around, which is really unfortunate, in the sense of health,’ The US Team captain said on Friday.

‘It’s not an excuse, because we have depth, but I’ll just say, I’m grateful we have a team doctor.

He added: ‘We’re just fighting things, I mean, internally. It’s kind of passed around a little bit, caddies, players.

‘It is what it is. But it’s nothing more than that. Guys are fighting and playing regardless. I mean, it’s not anything that’s kind of weighed us down because of the depth we have and because of the many options we think we have.’

Players in the house!

Early start today! Fleetwood Mac are already on the practice green ready to go out here at 6:35am!

Saturday’s foursomes pairings!

Luke Donald has named a pretty much unchanged quad of parings to go out for the fourballs this morning but has tweaked the order slightly.

Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood will go out first today after going out last yesterday in the morning session, while Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton will go out last.

In the US Team, Zach Johnson has opted to keep Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth in the opening group following on from yesterday’s fourballs. Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka, who looked dominant yesterday in the fourballs go out second again, in a huge pairing. Max Homa and Brian Harman follow and Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay make up the final US Pairing.

6:35am – Rory McIlroy & Tommy Fleetwood v Justin Thomas & Jordan Spieth

6:50am – Viktor Hovland & Ludvig Aberg v Scottie Scheffler & Brooks Koepka

8:05am – Shane Lowry & Sepp Straka v Max Homa and Brian Harman

8:20am – Jon Rahm & Tyrrell Hatton v Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele

Day Two!

Good morning and welcome to our coverage of day two at the Ryder Cup!

It was Team Europe’s day yesterday, with Luke Donald’s side stopping the Americans from picking up a single point at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club – the first time they’ve failed to win a point during a day at the Ryder Cup in the history of the tournament.

Europe steamed ahead to a 4-0 lead in a superb morning session, before they. would overturn what looked to be a 3-1 swing to the US Team in the afternoon, with all of Viktor Hovland, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose halving their matches with superb putts on the 18th green in dramatic fashion.

While the US Team fought back in the afternoon, Europe would ultimately take a 6.5-1.5 lead heading into Saturday.

So as we gear up for day two, we’ll be recapping on all the action and fall out from what was a thrilling day in Rome…

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