Zach Johnson sheepishly references Ryder Cup head colds for Team USA amid Day 1 embarrassment

Apparently, members of Team USA have fallen ill at the Ryder Cup.

U.S. Captain Zach Johnson discussed this development at his post-round press conference on Friday.

“We have got some congestion and some just signs of things that are unfortunate,” Johnson explained.

“It’s one of those where sometimes the energy is probably a little low, but the ability and desire to go out and play is still there. That’s what we are weighing. Every one of them still wants to play every match, which is encouraging.”

The Europeans embarrassed the Americans on Friday, as Team Europe holds a commanding 6.5-to-1.5 lead after Day One.

Perhaps Team USA’s health played a factor, but the Americans still have two days to go at Marco Simone Golf Club.

Zach Johnson standing alongside some members of Team USA.
Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

“We’re just fighting things internally,” Johnson said. “It’s kind of passed around a little bit, caddies, players. It is what it is. But it’s nothing more than that. Guys are fighting and playing regardless. I mean, it’s not anything that’s kind of weighed us down because of the depth we have and because of the many options we think we have.”

Interestingly, Rickie Fowler will sit out Saturday’s morning session, marking his second straight absence.

“I’m not going to get specific on individual guys,” Johnson said when asked about Fowler’s health. “I don’t think that’s fair. I think it’s irresponsible to say who is playing for what reason and who is not for what reason.”

Like Fowler, Sam Burns will sit for a second straight session. But that might be due to Burns’ poor play on Friday morning. He and Scottie Scheffler lost to Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton, 4 & 3, in foursomes.

Also sitting for Saturday morning’s alternate shot will be Collin Morikawa and Wyndham Clark.

Morikawa lost both matches he played on Friday, while Clark choked down the stretch against Justin Rose and Robert MacIntyre.

Nevertheless, it seems like this bug will impact the U.S. for the rest of the competition, making a comeback that much more difficult.

“If I’m being honest, yes, it has spread through my team,” Johnson admitted. He didn’t try and make it an excuse for the team’s performance Friday. But when you talk about it, it will always be perceived that way.

From the comments online, that is certainly the case.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.