Rookie watch at the Ryder Cup

This was a real baptism of fire for the four of Europe’s six newcomers sent out for their Ryder Cup debuts, Darren Clarke not using Chris Wood or Matt Fitzpatrick on day one.
Rookie watch at the Ryder Cup

Their performances proved to be a mixed bag.

Partnering Rory McIlroy, Andy Sullivan despaired as his tee shot into water on 17 ushered in a foursomes defeat to Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler.

On the plus side was the debut of Rafa Cabrera Bello in the fourballs alongside compatriot Sergio Garcia, contributing two birdies on the front nine to push his team into a 3up lead through seven holes.

Like the Spaniard, Danny Willett did not take his bow until the afternoon session and despite an opening birdie it was the hot putting of opponents Brandt Snedeker and US rookie Brooks Koepka that was winning out.

There was good and bad for Thomas Pieters, on the end of a 5&4 defeat in the morning but proving his worth in the fourballs session alongside an in-form Rory McIlroy.

America’s other rookie in action was Ryan Moore, unleashed in the afternoon fourballs alongside JB Holmes but struggling against the Spanish swahsbucklers Garcia and Cabrera Bello.

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