- Team Europe put in a totally dominant performance on day one in Rome
- Luke Donald’s side stormed to a 6 1/2 – 1 1/2 Ryder Cup score on the opening day
- Justin Rose, 40, praised Europe’s performance as the US collapsed
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Justin Rose got his second spot on the 18th hole on the opening day of the Ryder Cup to cap off a dominant performance for Team Europe against a disappointing Team USA.
The 40-year-old is the only player in that age group competing in Rome and his experience was telling as he rescued half a point in the final fourball of the afternoon.
American duo Max Homa and Wyndham Clark should have given the visitors their first full score of the day but made a mistake on the 17th before further misery ensued on the final hole.
Rose took advantage by sinking his attempt on the green and the veteran expressed his ‘delight’ that USA did not get a red mark on the scoreboard for the first time.
‘I’m glad we got something out of that match. We fought very, very hard,” Rose told Sky Sports.
Justin Rose rescued a draw for Europe in the final session of the day at the Ryder Cup to prevent the US from achieving their first full points victory
Max Homa (left) and Wyndham Clark (right) missed a golden opportunity to salvage a victory for the US on the final hole
“I didn’t want us to be the ones who got red on the board all day.”
Meanwhile, European teammate Matt Fitzpatrick praised Luke Donald’s side for their dominance and hailed Rory McIlroy for helping him earn his first Ryder Cup point in the last three editions of the tournament.
The 29-year-old has endured difficult Ryder Cup performances in the past but was on the winning side on day one as Team Europe built on their 4-0 opening session to add a further two and a half points in the afternoon.
Team Europe are top after recording the joint-highest opening day score in Ryder Cup history and Fitzpatrick insisted he ‘couldn’t be happier’.
‘For me personally, it is one of the most beautiful days I have ever had on a golf course. It was very special from the moment I knew I was working with this man (McIlroy),” he said.
“To get off to a good start, I couldn’t be happier,” he added.
Rory McIlroy (centre) and Matt Fitzpatrick (right) starred in the afternoon session
Fitzpatrick was helped to his first Ryder Cup victory after three previous missed attempts
McIlroy was close to tears when Europe was defeated by Team USA in the final Ryder Cup at Whistling Straights two years ago, showing he was here to get revenge on Team USA.
The Northern Irishman won both his four-balls on day one and couldn’t hide his excitement at the end of the match.
‘Absolutely wonderful. For nine holes, all I was trying to do was hold on to this guy’s jacket,” he said.
“We had to hang in there and get some solid shots, but it was a great day in front of some great home fans,” he added.