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Justin Rose and Jon Rahm get Europe up and running before inspired Spieth leads US charge

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Europe captain Thomas Bjorn may have pinned his hopes of a fast start on his rookies, but it was veteran Justin Rose who led the way once more in the opening session of the 42nd Ryder Cup.

While experienced wild cards Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia were left on the sidelines, Bjorn opted to throw debutants Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton and Thorbjorn Olesen straight into the action at Le Golf National.

The quartet were all paired with experienced players, with Rose playing the opening match for the third Ryder Cup in succession as Europe looked to regain the trophy and maintain an unbeaten record on home soil which stretches back to 1993.

With Henrik Stenson hampered by an elbow problem, Rose was given a new partner in Rahm to take on Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau, the FedEx Cup champion making the ideal start with a brilliant approach to the first to set up a tap-in birdie.

Finau chipped in for an eagle on the sixth to get back on level terms, but promptly drove out of bounds on the next and saw Koepka hit an equally wild shot to gift the hole to the European pair, with Rahm then doubling their lead with a birdie on the eighth.

With Olesen and Rory McIlroy winning the eighth hole with a par against Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler and Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari also one up on Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed, Europe briefly led in three of the four matches.

2018 Ryder Cup - Morning Fourball Matches

But that quickly changed when McIlroy and Olesen made a mess of the ninth and Fleetwood and Molinari also lost the seventh to a par, with Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas three up on Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton thanks to Spieth’s five birdies in the first seven holes.

Rose and Rahm were still going strong, however, and the Englishman really set the Ryder Cup alight with a delightful chip in off the green for a birdie on the 12th.

And just look at what it meant to him, that reaction was brilliant.

It might be early in the event, but it's unlikely you will see too many shots better than that in Paris over the course of the weekend.

Topics:
Ryder Cup
Tiger Woods
Justin Rose
Golf

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