Rahm downs Tiger as Europe close on Ryder Cup win

Jon Rahm’s birdie on the 17th sealed victory over Tiger Woods. (AFP pic)

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES: Jon Rahm dealt Tiger Woods a fourth loss of the Ryder Cup as Europe weathered an early fightback from the United States in Sunday’s singles to lead 12.5 to 9.5 at Le Golf National.

Spanish rookie Rahm won his first Ryder Cup point with a 2 and 1 victory over Woods, with the American suffering just his second singles defeat in eight matches in the competition.

“To beat Tiger, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, on the Sunday, with a pivotal point, I was so aware of it, it’s the best feeling of my life,” said the 23-year-old Rahm.

Rahm’s triumph came after Thorbjørn Olesen, in the seventh match to tee off, powered to an impressive 5 and 4 win over the in-form Jordan Spieth to quell the US team’s momentum.

Jim Furyk’s men had pulled to within a point after claiming 3.5 points from the first four matches on Sunday, with Justin Thomas defeating Rory McIlroy 1-up in the opening clash.

A calamitous 18th hole for McIlroy saw the Northern Irishman find the bunker with his tee shot, as well as the water, as Thomas picked up his fourth point of the competition.

Paul Casey and Brooks Koepka halved the second match, while Webb Simpson beat Justin Rose 3 and 2 after carding six birdies to put away the Olympic champion on the Albatros course.

Tony Finau romped to a 6 and 4 win over fellow rookie Tommy Fleetwood, denying the Englishman the chance to become the first European to win five points from a possible five at the Ryder Cup.