yrrell Hatton insists the European team is “never out of the fight” after his birdie on the last hole provided a bright spot on an opening day of the 43rd Ryder Cup.
The eight-foot Englishman snatched a vital half point from him in the 18th against Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler, but it was only a minor blow as the United States opened a 6-2 lead.
Europe will have to make history to hold on to the Ryder Cup after suffering its worst opening day in the current format at windswept Whistling Straits.
Padraig Harrington’s team ended the day 6-2 ago when Rory McIlroy endured heavy defeats alongside Ian Poulter and Shane Lowry and the six rookies of American captain Steve Stricker contributed at least half a point.
Harrington’s team will need a big upgrade on Saturday if they are not to avoid further penalties, but Hatton, playing Europe’s leading star Jon Rahm in the morning, hoped his contribution would have helped them regain some momentum.
“You are never out of the fight. That was obviously huge for the team there at the end, ”whose punch was uncommon for a player in blue.
“Hopefully that can change the momentum in our path and hopefully we go into tomorrow with the momentum on our side.
“Obviously, it’s a good feeling to put that one last.
“It was a very special moment. Obviously, getting over that, I know it’s a huge putt and it’s going to help the team.
“I didn’t make any putts today. I just had to trust that and luckily I managed to do it.
“He walked in and it was an incredible feeling. Obviously, you could see the excitement at the end. It was huge for the team. “
World number one Rahm and veteran Sergio Garcia clinched Europe’s only point in the morning with a three-quarter win over America’s best couple Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.
Garcia, after equaling Sir Nick Faldo’s all-time record for wins in the Ryder Cup on the 23rd, rested for the afternoon fourballs and that put some responsibility on Hatton, playing his second Ryder Cup in a row.
“Obviously tough shoes to fill after he (Rahm) went out with Sergio, but I heard about the association earlier this week and was very excited,” he added.
“Jon is number one in the world for a reason. He’s a fantastic player and hopefully I had to be there to try to back him up when I could.