Yet, Team USA captain Zach Johnson made some interesting choices in the Friday foursome selections. To kick the tournament off, he opted for Scottie Scheffler and his close friend Sam Burns.
The next group was maybe the most surprising. He sent out two Ryder Cup rookies, Max Homa and Brian Harman. They were followed by a Rickie Fowler/Collin Morikawa pairing and Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay.
Many were surprised that five-time major winner Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas were left watching.
Nevertheless, there was plenty of optimism as the Americans look to end the 30-year winless drought on European soil.
Well, things haven’t exactly gone as planned for Team USA and the fans are laying the blame at Johnson’s feet.
Zach Johnson captaincy should be revoked ASAP
— Tyler Upson (@upson_tyler) September 29, 2023
We started Sam Burns over Brooks!? Getting what we deserve. Smh Zach Johnson #RyderCup
— Cody Johnson™ (@CodeBreaker_25) September 29, 2023
so far Zach Johnson has gotten everything wrong you possibly can
— magic mike (@MikeRobidoux) September 29, 2023
Petition to ban Zach Johnson from future involvement in the Ryder Cup
— Free Mamoa (@MasonJarred520) September 29, 2023
Some fans went a little over the top.
Zach Johnson should be tried on war crimes and treason for this lineup
— Spieth Legion (@SpiethLegion) September 29, 2023
Scheffler’s putting woes and Burns’ approaches into water have sunk them into a two-hole deficit as they play the 11th.
It gets worse.
The American rookies have played poorly. They carded three bogeys on the front nine. Meanwhile, Viktor Hovland’s epic chip and excellent putting have put the Europeans 4-UP in that match.
It doesn’t get any better.
Fowler and Morikawa bogeyed four of the first eight holes in their match. Sepp Straka and Shane Lowry haven’t had to do anything special. Yet, they are 3-UP in their match.
Maybe the only hope for Team USA to steal a point is with their best pairing, on paper. Schauffele and Cantlay have been great as a duo on the past. Well, not Friday.
They trail Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood, who are 2-UP through eight. If not for some missed putts by Fleetwood, it could be much worse.
If Team USA can’t turn this around soon, this Ryder Cup might turn into a bloodbath. If that happens, the calls for Johnson’s captaincy to be revoked will become resoundingly clear.
Kendall Capps is the Senior Editor/Site Manager for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf content, follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social channels.