The sun shone in Rome and upon Team Europe on Friday, in the 2023 Ryder Cup. Having won the morning foursomes 4-0, Europe added to their lead in the afternoon fourballs, with the eventual day one score finishing 6.5-1.5 in favour of Luke Donald’s team.
Betfred punters took advantage of our 3 up promotion throughout the day, meaning that any bets placed on the foursomes or fourballs were paid out early if any team went 3 up during the match.
In the morning foursomes this meant that customers were paid out early in three of the four matches …
Friday Morning Foursomes – Europe 4 – 0 USA
MATCH 1: Rahm & Hatton v Scheffler & Burns – Europe went 3 up on the 11th hole PAID OUT EARLY – Europe went on to win the match 4&3.
MATCH 2: Hovland & Aberg v Homa & Harman – Europe went 3 up on the 9th hole PAID OUT EARLY – Europe went on to win the match 4&3.
MATCH 3: Lowry & Straka v Morikawa & Fowler – Europe went 3 up on the 8th hole PAID OUT EARLY – Europe went on to win the match 2&.
MATCH 4: McIlroy & Fleetwood v Cantlay & Schauffele – Europe won the match 2&1.
The power couple of John Rahm and Tyrell Hatton were never behind in the opening match of the Ryder Cup. After a couple of tight holes, the Europeans hit their stride and dominated against the world number one Scottie Scheffler and Ryder Cup rookie Sam Burns, who faltered in the morning sun. Punters who backed the Europeans were paid out on the 11th hole as the pair went 3 up, eventually winning the match 4&3 on the 15th green.
It was more of the same in match 2, with the Scandi-duo of Hovland and Aberg taking just nine holes to hit the 3 up mark, leaving customers collecting their winnings in good time. The pair would eventually win the match on the 15th green, 4&3.
In match 3 it wasn’t quite as straightforward for Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka against Colin Morikawa and Rickie Fowler. The European pair flew into an early lead and hit 3 up on the 8th hole. Still, the Americans did fight back, keeping the match within sights right up to the 17th hole, where a par 3 from Europe closed out the match 2&1 with Straka holing the winning putt and, in doing so, getting a first Ryder Cup win for Austria!
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Friday Afternoon Fourballs – Europe 2.5 – 1.5 USA
MATCH 1: Hovland & Hatton v Spieth & Thomas – The match finished all-square.
MATCH 2: Rahm & Hojgaard v Koepka & Scheffler – The match finished all-square.
MATCH 3: McIntyre & Rose v Clark & Homa – The match finished all-square.
MATCH 4: McIlroy & Fitzpatrick v Morikawa & Schauffele – Europe went 3 up on the 4th hole PAID OUT EARLY – Europe went on to win the match 5&3
Europe weren’t as dominant in the afternoon fourballs, but punters did still see an early payout in the shape of Match 4, with Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick bouncing out of the traps to go 3 up after just four holes. The pair were 6 up by the turn against Colin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele and eventually wound up 5&3 winners.
Whilst backers had to wait for their returns via traditional means in the three remaining games, there were some titanic tussles, including the top contest featuring Hovland and Hatton versus Spieth and Thomas, which went right down to the 18th green.
Birdies from Viktor Hovland (in spectacular fashion) and a clutch from Justin Thomas meant the hole was halved in four so a half point each; the first half point of the day for Team USA!
Rahm/Hojgaard v Koepka/Scheffler was another humdinger that went down to the wire. After John Rahm chipped in to win the 16th hole and square the match, Scheffler showed his class by nearly holing out in one on the par 3 17th and winning the hole with a birdie. An eagle three from Rahm on the 18th green pretty much summed up a match of extreme quality, which finished tied.
In Match 3, McIntyre and Rose earned a half-point on the 18th green after the American duo of Wyndham Clark and Max Homa were two up with two to play. ending a miserable day for the away side. Roll on Saturday!
Score at the end of play on Day 1 – Europe 6.5 – 1.5 USA
The betting to win the Ryder Cup was pretty tight before the off, but after a stunning first day from Europe, Luke Donald’s side are now 2/13 to win the Harry Vardon Trophy on Sunday. Latest Ryder Cup odds.
To win the Ryder Cup Odds
Europe – 2/13
USA – 15/2
Tie – 14/1
*Odds correct at the time of publishing.