Here is a recap of Friday’s Ryder Cup matches at Medinah Country Club, with Team USA taking a 5-3 lead over Europe.
Saturday will feature four more foursome matches (alternative shots with one ball in play for each two-manteam) and four more fourballs matches (lowest score among four players wins the hole), with 8 more points.
The Ryder Cup concludes Sunday with 12 singles matches in head-to-head match play.
The U.S. needs 14.5 points to win the Ryder Cup. Europe needs 14 to keep it.
Friday morning matches (foursomes)
Result: USA 2, Europe 2
Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker vs. Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell
Result: Europe wins 1 up
Recap: After 12 holes, the Euros held a 3-up lead. It was all over. Until … Furyk drained a 6-footer on 13 (now it’s 2-up), McDowell drove into the water on 15 (1-up!) and Furyk hit a gorgeous shot on 16 to 4 feet (all square!). Unfortunately for the U.S., Snedeker botched his drive on 18, Furyk’s 30-foot par putt slid by the hole and McDowell buried his 5-footer to claim the match.
Snedeker: “(On 18th tee shot) I just put an awful shot, put Jim in a terrible position. Hate to do that to Jim, let alone my team. ... I look forward to the next chance to go and put a point on the board.”
Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley vs. Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia
Result: U.S. wins 4 and 3
Recap: Leading 1-up, Bradley implored his tee shot on the 249-yard 13th hole to “go, go!” It did and settled to 15 feet, leading to a birdie and a 2-up advantage. Bradley then closed out the match with a 30-foot birdie on 15 to send Donald (6-1-0) and Garcia (8-1-1) to their first-ever loss in fourballs.
Bradley: “It was one of the most memorable days of my life so far.”
Mickelson: “He played some of the best golf and to be his partner was an awesome experience. I love, love playing with this man.”
Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson vs. Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari
Result: U.S. wins 3 and 2
Recap: The Americans never led until Dufner buried a birdie putt on No. 10. It stayed 1 up in favor of the U.S. until Westwood’s drive on 15 sailed into the water. Dufner and Johnson carded a birdie, then closed the match out with a par on 16.
Dufner: “I really like this format, this environment. For me I feel like there’s a little bit less pressure. I’m not trying to post a score, I’m just trying to play golf and enjoy the day and be with a teammate and try to get a point for the team.”
Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods vs. Ian Poulter and Justin Rose
Result: Europe wins 2 up
Recap: Things got off to an ominous start when Woods yanked his opening drive and Stricker kerplunked his tee shot on No. 2 into the water. Woods couldn’t find his swing in this match and despite a birdie on 15 to trim the deficit to 2 up, Poulter staved off any potential momentum with a huge 15-foot par putt on 16, essentially ending the match. With the loss, Woods fell to 3-9-0 on Day 1 in the Ryder Cup.
Ian Poulter: “Tiger has been 2 of my 3 defeats in this Ryder Cup format, and Justin and I were pretty pumped to get out there and kind of get that point on the board.”
Friday afternoon matches (fourballs)
Result: USA 5, Europe 3
Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson vs. Paul Lawrie and Peter Hanson
Recap: You knew this was going to be a special match when Watson got the crowd all revved on the first tee by giving them the raise the roof sign – even as he prepared to hit his drive. Watson the Simpson birdied 10 of the 14 holes they played (5 each), leaving the Europeans in their dust.
Quote: “We just played great,” Simpson said.
Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley vs. Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell
Result: U.S. wins 2 and 1
Recap: McIlroy and McDowell conceded after Mickelson stuck his tee shot within two feet on the 17th hole. Mickelson and Bradley never trailed in the match, going 3 up after three holes. Mickelson and Bradley led 2 up when Mickelson ended it with his iron shot.
Quote: “I hit a solid, penetrating iron shot through the air and that baby was all over the flag stick,” Mickelson said. “I was really glad to see it come down the right yardage. It looked good in the air, but until you see it come down you never know.”
Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar vs. Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer
Result: U.S. wins 3 and 2
Recap: A string of four birdies in a row for Kuchar starting at the fourth hole sent the Americans on their way to the victory. Johnson’s birdie at the 15th hole helped clinch it. Kaymer had a miserable day with no birdies on a day when scoring was quite easy.
Quote: “I played solid golf and got hot with the putter,” Kuchar said. “I kind of fell back and relied on Dustin on the back nine. This guy is like a horse. When he turns it on it’s fun to watch.”
Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker vs. Nicolas Colsaerts and Lee Westwood
Result: Europe wins 1 up
Recap: Colsaerts, Europe’s lone rookie, outdueled Woods in a classic head-to-head battle that wasn’t decided until Woods narrowly missed from 18 feet on the final hole. Colsaerts made eight birdies and an eagle to Woods’ seven birdies. Woods made five birdies on the back nine to pick up struggling partner Stricker.
Quote: “Nicolas probably had one of the greatest putting rounds I’ve ever seen,” Woods said. “I thought we did the things that we needed to do. There weren’t too many putts that (Colsaerts) missed.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.