The USA takes a 2½-1½ lead into the second session of the Ryder Cup after Tom Watson’s three rookies produced the goods on a dramatic first morning at Gleneagles.
Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth delivered a shock 5&4 win over European talisman Ian Poulter and his teammate, Scot Stephen Gallacher, whilst Jimmy Walker birdied two of the last three holes to help salvage an unlikely half for he and Rickie Fowler against Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjorn.
A resounding 5&4 win for Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson in the opening match was as good as it got for Europe, who saw Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia lose two of the last three holes to go down by one hole to Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.
Bryce Ritchie and Michael McEwan round-up of each of the four matches...
Ryder Cup :: Day 1 :: Friday Fourballs
Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson
won 5&4 against
Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson
Simpson, a pick by Tom Watson, skied the opening shot of the Ryder Cup and never really hit his stride. Masters champ Watson got the crowd going on the first tee but couldn’t get himself going. The American duo were never up in the match, had zero birdies to the Europeans’ five – and were promptly benched for the afternoon foursomes. BR
Martin Kaymer & Thomas Bjorn
Rickie Fowler & Jimmy Walker
On paper, a halved match. In reality, though, this will feel more like a point won for the US. Trailing all day after Kaymer birdied the first, the Euros were three-up after four. However, Fowler cut the deficit to two at the fifth before debutant Walker brilliantly holed a bunker shot for an eagle at the ninth to get within one. A Bjorn birdie at 13 restored the Euros’ lead only for Walker to birdie the 16th and 18th to salvage an improbable half. “We had chances to close the match and are disappointed we didn’t make the putts,” said a disappointed Kaymer afterwards. MM
Stephen Gallacher & Ian Poulter
lost 5&4 to
Jordan Spieth & Patrick Reed
Englishman Poulter suffered only his fourth defeat in 16 Ryder Cup matches as he and home favourite Stephen Gallacher were handsomely beaten by US rookies Reed and Spieth. After losing the first hole, the European duo were always behind and were three-down at the turn. Reed and Spieth, with a combined age of 45, shot a better-ball five-under-par as their opponents were able to muster only one birdie, a four from Gallacher at the second. That will be Gallacher and Poulter’s only involvement on day one of the match – both have been benched for this afternoon’s foursomes. MM
Rory McIlroy & Sergio Garcia
lost by 1 hole to
Keegan Bradley & Phil Mickelson
The blockbuster tie of the session lived up to the hype. Garcia and McIlroy were one-up after six, parred the next two before losing the ninth and tenth to go two-down. McIlroy got it back to all-square with a par a 13, took the lead on 15, only for Bradley to brilliantly eagle the par-5 16th. Hollywood stuff indeed. The fourball halved 17 in pars with some scrappy golf and so headed the full distance to the last. The Europeans, though, finished ugly and left Phil Mickelson the easiest of two-footers for birdie and the win. BR
Ryder Cup 2014 :: Stat of the Session
Three players - Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Ian Poulter - failed to register a birdie during their rounds in this morning's opening session of the 2014 Ryder Cup.