ROME, September 29 (Reuters) – Captain Luke Donald commended his team’s remarkable performance in the Ryder Cup on Friday as Europe surged ahead, leading the United States 6-1/2 to 1-1/2. This marked the first time the U.S. had failed to secure a win during a day of competition.

Here are some notable reactions to the day’s events:

EUROPE:

Donald: “Today was a historic day, but our aim is for it to be the start of a historic week. The job is far from finished. We will celebrate this amazing day, but tomorrow morning, we’ll be back with the goal of winning the next session. We’ll refocus our team, but what a day it has been. This morning, the guys put on an incredible performance with a 4-0 lead. This afternoon was challenging, with the U.S. making a comeback as we anticipated. They had a moment where momentum shifted their way, but we managed to turn the tide.”

Justin Rose (who won the last two holes to halve his fourballs match): “The 18th hole was my moment. I’ve contributed a lot of points, but moments like that are rare. I’m thrilled we earned something from that match. It was the last putt of the day, and everyone was there. We fought hard and didn’t want to be the only ones to let the U.S. score.”

Matt Fitzpatrick (who won his first match after five previous Ryder Cup defeats): “It’s one of the greatest days I’ve ever had on a golf course. It was incredibly special from the moment I found out I was partnering with Rory McIlroy. With the strong start we had, I couldn’t be happier.”

Rory McIlroy (who won both his matches): “Absolutely amazing. For the first nine holes, I was trying to keep up with Fitzpatrick. They made some birdies, and we had to hang in there, but it was a great day with fantastic fans. The fact that the Americans didn’t win a full point was incredible, showing the heart, grit, and determination of the European team. This is just one amazing day, and there are two more days ahead.”

Jon Rahm (who hit two eagles in the last three holes to halve his fourballs): “Nicolai (Hojgaard) told me to go for it and asked, ‘What would Seve do?’ He would have done something spectacular.”

UNITED STATES:

Zach Johnson (U.S. captain): “In all honesty, we’ve had to navigate through some unforeseen challenges, including health and congestion. It’s not an excuse, as we have depth. I’m grateful for our team doctor. Today is done, and about 28% of the competition is complete. We still have 72% left, which presents us with ample opportunity to showcase our team’s character. Regrets? That’s part of sport, that’s golf; anyone can prevail in a given moment. Today didn’t favor us, but it doesn’t mean tomorrow or Sunday won’t.”

Scottie Scheffler (world number one who lost one and halved one): “Our team knows what we’re capable of. We have a lot of talented players, and we’re looking to bounce back tomorrow and put up a strong fight.”

Justin Thomas (who halved his fourballs): “It’s not the start we hoped for, but luckily, we have a lot of golf left. We’ll get some rest, regroup, and aim to win as many points as possible tomorrow.”

Brooks Koepka (who halved his fourballs): “We birdied 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and still lost by two. Two eagles from Rahm cost us the victory. I want to react like Jon Rahm did, like a child, but we’re adults, and we move on.”

Reference

https://www.reuters.com/sports/golf/historic-day-we-want-historic-week-says-europes-donald-2023-09-29/

https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/golf/2023/07/17/steve-stricker-wins-3rd-golf-major-of-2023-ties-nicklaus-langer-pays-tribute-wife-nicki-anniversary/70420504007/

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