(Photo credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports)
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth will lead off the foursome pairings on Saturday with the Americans facing a steep climb at the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome.
Thomas and Spieth tied Norwegian Viktor Hovland and Englishman Tyrrell Hatton on Friday afternoon in the four-ball play, with Team Europe heading into Saturday action up 6 1/2 to 1 1/2 over the U.S. Now, the veteran American tandem will match up against Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood with a start time of 1:35 a.m. ET.
Captain Zach Johnson sat Thomas and Spieth in Friday's foursomes, pointing to the U.S. depth as a strength.
"Despite the scoreboard, I'm still extremely proud of what they've done," Johnson said, adding that the team is grateful to have a "great team doctor."
"We've got some congestion and some signs [of illness]," Johnson said. "Things like that are unfortunate, sometimes the energy is a little low. But the ability and desire to go out and play is still there. Every one of them wants to play every match."
Johnson acknowledged the illness has spread among the players.
"It kind of has, if I'm being honest. It's spread through my team," he said.
The only thing Team Europe seems to be passing around is momentum.
Captain Luke Donald stayed with his foursome pairings from Friday morning, when they swept 4-0, for Saturday.
Hovland and Ludvig Aberg are matched with Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka in the second foursome Saturday (1:50 a.m. ET tee time).
Scheffler was paired with Sam Burns in a Friday foursomes loss to Jon Rahm and Hatton in the first match of the day.
"It was tough out there. They played really good," Scheffler said. "We just weren't able to get the looks to have some putts to win holes and really flip the match. They took control and just played good."
Scheffler and Koepka appeared in line for a point in Friday afternoon's matches before Spain's Jon Rahm eagled two of the final four holes to help Team Europe tie its biggest ever lead after the opening day of Ryder Cup.
Ryder Cup rookies Max Homa and Brian Harman are matched with Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka (2:05 a.m. ET) in the third match, and the final pits Rahm and Hatton against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele (2:20 a.m. ET).
"I mean, we didn't really give much away," Rahm said of his pairing with Hatton on Friday. "We were very hard to play against this morning. I think we were four- or five-under, so in foursomes, that's a good effort."
Rahm is undefeated in Ryder Cup foursomes.
--Field Level Media