Zach Johnson insisted Friday that his USA team are not downhearted despite an awful opening day at the Ryder Cup in which the Americans failed to win a single match.
Europe lead the 44th edition of the tournament 6.5-1.5 after picking up one win and saving halves from three matches on the final hole of the afternoon fourballs.
Johnson’s side trail by a record-equalling five points at the end of the first of three days following a frustrating fourballs session which was preceded by a 4-0 whitewash in the morning’s foursomes.
“We’ve got 72 percent (of the tournament) left, which makes for, you know, I would say just an ability to go out and show off and show the true character of this team, which I’ve been very proud of since the very beginning,” Johnson told reporters.
“I’m extremely proud of their fight and character. When you have adversity or challenges you can kind of go one of two ways, they decided to do it with class and character… I believe in these guys, this is just the start.
“I’ve got leaders on this team that are stepping forward, and these guys are ready.”
Johnson, who said that his team are suffering from an unspecified illness which has been passed around and caused “congestion”, is sure the bad fortune his team suffered on Friday can turn around over the weekend.
“I don’t know if I have any regrets. that’s sport, this is golf, this happens… Anybody can beat anybody at any moment,” added Johnson.
“It did not go in our favour today, that doesn’t meant it can’t Saturday and certainly on Sunday.”