Ryder Cup: Danny Willett deployed to get Europe back on track but Matt Fitzpatrick sits out again

Danny Willett
Danny Willett
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Danny Willett will compete in the afternoon fourballs as Europe look to recover from a bad opening morning at the Ryder Cup.

The Sheffield golfer has been paired with Martin Kaymer by Europe captain Darren Clarke and will face Brooks Koepka and Brandt Snedeker in a 7pm (GMT) start.

But fellow Steel City player Matt Fitzpatrick has once again been omitted from the pairings, a surprising move given the knock to the confidence many of the European players will have suffered on Friday morning.

Picking up points in the second session of the day at Hazeltine National will be vital for Masters champion Willett and co who find themselves 4-0 down after a disastrous morning.

FRIDAY FOURBALL PAIRINGS

6.30pm - Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed v Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson

6.45pm - JB Holmes and Ryan Moore v Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello

7pm - Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka v Danny Willett and Martin Kaymer

7.15pm - Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar v Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters

FRIDAY FOURSOMES RESULTS

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson lost 3&2 to Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth

Something had to give in a match featuring two pairs who were unbeaten at Gleneagles in 2014, and it was the home side who struck the first blow with Spieth holing birdie putts on the second and third.

In contrast, Rose and Stenson were struggling to find the right line on the greens and Reed's birdie from five feet on the seventh took the Americans into a dominant position.

A par on the ninth was enough for Europe's first win of the day, although not until Stenson was made to hole from inside two feet.

That was as close as Europe's top pair was able to get however and a birdie on the 16th from Reed sealed the win. The same pairs were then announced to open the afternoon fourballs.

Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar beat Lee Westwood and Thomas Pieters 5&4

Veteran Lee Westwood pushed his drive into a bunker off the first tee and things went downhill from there as rookie Pieters missed the green as they went one down.

When the usually reliable Westwood drove into the water at the seventh on the way to a double-bogey six Europe were four down and a birdie for Johnson at the next put the USA into a commanding position.

Kuchar's four-foot par putt lipped out to hand a shot back at the ninth but an outward nine of 40 for Europe did not offer much hope of a comeback and they suffered the ignominy of a 5&4 defeat.

Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson beat Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer 4&2

Johnson bogeyed the second to put Europe one up, a lead they held on to for nine holes - even when Garcia sprayed a shot 90 yards right on the par-five 11th, Kaymer chipped to eight feet only for his partner to miss the birdie putt having left one in the jaws on the previous green.

Kaymer's missed par putt at the 12th brought the match back to all square.

Johnson hit it close at the next for Walker to put the USA ahead for the first time and they won the next four holes in a remarkable finish.

Andy Sullivan and Rory McIlroy lost 1dn to Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler

The European pair were gifted an early two-hole lead when their opponents bogeyed the fourth and made a mess of the sixth, Mickelson driving out of bounds and Fowler hitting his drive up against the same boundary fence.

However, they repaid the favour on the next when McIlroy's approach hit a tree and dropped into a water hazard and a bogey on the eighth meant the match was tied.

Birdies on the 13th and 14th took the visitors two ahead once more, but they bogeyed the 15th and lost the next to a birdie before Sullivan found water off the tee on the 17th.