Europe’s superiority was obvious on Saturday morning at the Ryder Cup as they blitzed the fourballs and stormed into a 8-4 lead. Only Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth managed to put a point on the board for Team USA and end an eight-win streak.
Paris's Le Golf National is notoriously tricky and several Americans have floundered on it, with Patrick Reed, in particular, enduring a torrid morning's work. However, speaking on Sky Sports, Butch Harmon and Paul McGinley cited the significant error Team USA had made in preparation, they did not sufficiently practice the course.
Butch Harmon was forthright in his opinion that the Americans had made a fatal error.
Let's just tell it like it is. You got a team who can't drive the ball on the fairway and they are not making any putts. They not only can not drive the ball on the fairway, they can't hit the layup shots. Irons off the tee and the fairway. This Golf Course is set up for accuracy, not distance. The American team are noted for distance, they don't play a lot of courses in the US like this. They can bomb it 340, 350 and hit their wedges on the green.
This golf course in cold temperaments, windy conditions, narrow fairways and rough has not suited them, because they have not played on it very often. I am being very honest. I am an American. I love these guys on this team, I root for my team but they were not situated to play this golf course in this condition and it has caught them out.
He went on to add that despite Justin Thomas's assertions to the contrary, the French course was the main issue: "Thomas I think was trying to be politically correct there in his interview saying the course didn't have a lot to do with it, I think the course had everything to do with it and the American team hasn't figured out how to play it."
Alongside Harmon was former Ryder Cup winning captain Paul McGinley. He was in full agreement with Harmon and pointed out that only one member of Team USA came to France to play on the course earlier this year.
The French Open was on this golf course three months ago, only one of them the American players decided to come and play, Justin Thomas. The others were not bothered.
In response to their poor start, captain Jim Furyk has opted to omit Phil Mickelson, who endured a heavy defeat yesterday. The afternoon rounds will see Rose/Stenson v Johnson/Koepka, Garcia/Noren v Watson/Simpson, Molinari/Fleetwood v Woods/DeChambeau, Poulter/McIlroy v Spieth/ Thomas.