Tommy Fleetwood makes undeniable gag after winning start with Rory McIlroy
It was getting dicey on the back nine, but the Europeans pulled it out in the end.
With Team Europe racing out to a 3-0 lead, after some incredible play from the likes of John Rahm, Shane Lowry and Viktor Hovland, it was up to Fleetwood and McIlroy to close out the foursomes in style.
They went 2 Up after eight holes but it was back-and-forth after that. Fleetwood made a long, clutch putt to win the 15th hole but the US team won the 16th to sit just one back with two holes to play. On the 17th tee, the Americans gave themselves a look at birdie from 16-feet.
It was up to McIlroy to try get close, to keep up the pressure. The 33-year-old ended up uncorking a beauty to leave Fleetwood with a two-and-a-half-foot putt to win the game.
Big-time moment, big-time shot 🎯
Rory McIlroy 👏👏pic.twitter.com/SMArwE1K1a
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) September 29, 2023
Great Tommy Fleetwood gag
If there is one thing that perhaps holds Tommy Fleetwood back from being a major winner it is his putting. He has a sublime touch around the greens but is often stiff when standing over putts.
For the match-clincher, Fleetwood was steady as she goes. The Americans could not get their birdie putt but the Englishman sank his for a 2&1 victory.
"It has been an unbelievable session," McIlroy told Sky Sports. "We switched the format this year as that is our strongest session... we were ready to go from the first tee-shot. It's an absolute pleasure to have this man beside me. He can play with anyone but I was just so happy it was me."
"I was waiting for a moment like that [long putt on 15], to be honest," said Fleetwood. "I'd felt like I had two or three chances that I'd let go by, and kept them in it. Like, you're not going to hole them all unless you have a really good day. But I was due one. I felt really good over it. It's just one of those Ryder Cup moments, isn't it?
"Rory is an unbelievable golfer. I said to him [after the short putt on 17], 'I can hole those ones! Those are good'."
"We were ready to go from the first tee shot" 😤
Hear from a very happy Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood 😁 pic.twitter.com/5PrPREa27c
— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) September 29, 2023
It was a perfect start for Europe, but the Americans had already set their sights on clawing back the deficit in the fourballs.
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