GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy (AP) — Max Homa had already taken his hat off and was walking toward playing partner Brian Harman for a celebratory hug before his chip for eagle rolled in on the reachable par-4 16th.
Nearly 28 hours into the Ryder Cup, the two rookies clinched the Americans’ first full point by beating Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka 4 and 2 in morning foursomes Saturday at Marco Simone.
“We needed something to go our way,” Homa said. “Somebody had to start a spark, so I’m just glad it was us.”
The only problem was that was the only point the U.S. earned in the session, leaving Europe extending its advantage to 9½ to 2½.
“We obviously are in a big hole but we have the right guys to dig ourselves out of it,” Homa said.
Homa went 4-0 in his first team experience at the Presidents Cup last year and also earned a half point with Wyndham Clark in afternoon fourballs on Friday against Robert MacIntyre and Justin Rose. But that felt like a loss after Homa missed a putt on 18 to win it — leaving him bent over in agony — and then Rose holed his putt to halve the match.
Homa and Harman were playing again in Saturday’s fourballs against Tommy Fleetwood and Nicolai Hojgaard — meaning Homa will be the only American to play in all five sessions.
Homa and Harman never trailed against Lowry and Straka — also a first for the Americans at this Ryder Cup.
Harman, this year’s British Open champion, made a 7-foot birdie putt on the par-4 10th to put the Americans ahead and then Homa hit a beautiful draw with a long iron on the par-5 12th that was inches from going in — setting off chants of “USA, USA, USA” that have been rare over the opening two days.
As Harman said, “It was good to come out and at least put red up on the board.”
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