Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka seemingly stole a point from Justin Rose and Jon Rahm on Friday morning of the Ryder Cup thanks in large part to an incredibly lucky break Finau got on the par-3 16th hole.
With the Europeans 2-up with six holes to play, the big-hitting American duo cut their deficit in half by the time they reached the 158-yard par-3 over water. With a left-to-right wind blowing into the players’ faces on the tee, Finau lofted an 8-iron towards the left side of the green and cut it towards the flag. The ball, however, did not have enough on it and seemed destined for the water before fate took over.
Finau’s ball bounced off of the bulkhead and ended up just a few feet from the hole. With Rahm only able to muster a par, Finau knocked in the birdie putt to square the match.
“We’ll take the breaks when we can get them,” Finau said after the match. “We needed one there. The bounces sometimes go your way and sometimes they don’t. Fortunately, we got a good on 16 there and I was able to brush that one in to give us some momentum coming down these last couple of holes.”
On the 18th hole, both Finau and Koepka found the putting surface in regulation while Rahm was forced to lay up out of the thick rough and Rose found the water guarding the front of the green.
Rahm hit his third shot from just over 100 yards to some 20 feet, but was unable to hole the par-saving putt, giving the opening match to the Americans.