Ryder Cup singles: Euros getting closer to victory

Ryder Cup singles: Euros getting closer to victory
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The Europeans began Sunday singles at the Ryder Cup with a five-point lead, needing to reach 14.5 points in order to win the biennial contest.

Here’s how the 12 matches are playing out at Marco Simone, in order of when they conclude, to showcase the overall competition scoring:

EUROPE 11.5, U.S. 5.5

Viktor Hovland (EUR) def. Collin Morikawa (U.S.), 4 and 3

Hovland continued his dominant Ryder Cup showing, wrapping up a 3-1-1 week by providing the first singles point of the day.

Hovland and Morikawa tied in singles two years ago at Whistling Straits, but this one was never in doubt. The Norwegian was 3 up through six holes and won three more holes on the back nine for a comfortable victory.

Europe 12, U.S. 6

Jon Rahm (EUR) tied Scottie Scheffler (U.S.)

It was the first match out but felt incredibly important as the remaining contests started taking shape. When all the matches were at least a few holes in, the U.S. had put up a lot of red while the Euros appeared locks in a couple of early ones.

The world No. 1 and the world No. 3 went back and forth all day, with the American leading, 1 up, through 11. The putting demons then crept in, as Scheffler missed putts to lose the 12th and 13th holes. But after squaring the match with a dart on No. 14, Scheffler rolled in a 20-footer to regain a 1-up advantage.

He carried that margin into the final hole, the par-5 18th. However, as Rahm hit the green in two and lagged his eagle effort to a foot, Scheffler missed the green right with his second shot and chipped through the green, unable to hole out for birdie, the match was halved.

Europe 12, U.S. 7

Patrick Cantlay (U.S.) def. Justin Rose (EUR), 2 and 1

Rose was emotional; Cantlay robotic. The machine won. Cantlay – not wearing a hat, of course – built a 3-up lead through 11 holes. Rose won the 12th and 13th, pumping up the partisan crowd in the process.

After Cantlay won the 14th, Rose again cut his deficit to 1 down by making birdie at No. 15. But after a tie at the 16th, the American closed it out with a birdie at the par-3 17th.

Europe 13, U.S. 7

Rory McIlroy (EUR) def. Sam Burns (U.S.), 3 and 1

McIlroy was assassin-like, calm and cold-blooded, following his feisty conclusion to Saturday at Marco Simone. He led after a par at the first and the match was never so much as tied the rest of the way.

McIlroy made six birdies over the first 12 holes to build a 4-up lead. Burns picked up a couple of late wins to apply a little pressure, but McIlroy finished it on the 17th.

After leaving Whistling Straits in tears, McIlroy was Europe’s leading points earner, going 4-1-0.

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