Some call the biennial Ryder Cup golf’s weirdest tournament. That’s true in the sense that it is the one golf event where it is both appropriate and encouraged for fans to boo players (because weird in golf is normal in every other sport).
Well, you can call it what you want. I call it golf’s grandest showcase!
The United States team, which almost always loses, is off to an unusually good start in the format that often trips them up: foursomes, also known as “alternate shot,” in which the two teammates alternate turns until the ball is in the hole. Team USA won three of the morning session’s first four matches, building up expectations ahead of the choke job that’s probably coming.
The European pair giving Americans the most trouble in that fourth match was no surprise: Spaniards Sergio Garcia, the winningest player in Ryder Cup history, and Jon Rahm, the undisputed best player in the world. Although their competitors, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas—no slouches either!—weren’t playing too badly, Garcia and Rahm were playing lights out and leading by three with three holes to play. In other words, Spieth and Thomas had to have the better score on each of the final three holes to tie the match and split the point that was up for grabs.
On the 16th hole, Thomas hit his tee shot into what we call “the shit.” It was up to Spieth to somehow get the ball close to the hole, from deep in 90-million-foot-high grass and with no stance, to give his team a chance at survival.
Spieth ended up hitting one of the best shots I’ve ever seen. Just watch this #ULTRAMoment:
Spieth’s momentum nearly took him sprinting into the dang lake. Into dang Lake Michigan!!
Justin Thomas then missed the short putt, and he and Spieth lost the match.