Ryder Cup Day One
Day One of the Ryder Cup. What can you say? Some great play and some poor play. Clutch play and some let it slip away play. European’s 5 points and the USA 3. If the US wins one match that it lost, then we have a tie. A 3 to 1 win in Friday morning Four-Ball matches in favor of the US and we are back to a tie. BUT the momentum is definitely on the European side. Except for the Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth match, no American duo played exceptional golf. One has to wonder what the outcome would’ve been if Captain Tom Watson had keep Reed and Spieth together for the afternoon in place of the team of Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, who appeared tired.
In match play you have to constantly keep your head in the game and realize no lead is safe. Expect the best from you opponent and try to keep you “foot on the pedal”. In Foursome competition or Alternate Shot, as we commonly refer to it in the United States, the goal is to put straight hitting consistent players together. When Phil is on, there are few that are better than he is. But Phil has been off for a while, except for a wonderful PGA Championship, he hasn’t putted up to his standards and hit enough fairways. Normally you see a confident Phil rip those short putts in the hole. Today, he took longer and putted tentatively. I hope Tom puts him in for the opening Four-Ball, but drops him from the afternoon Foursome competition.
What a great putt that Rory McIlroy made on 17. That was a dagger to the heart. But he is the number one player in the world, he should do great things. However, he then hits a wayward tee shot on 18, but luckily draws a great lie. We weren’t as lucky, but that’s golf. Sergio still has to hit a tremendous second shot. He did and all hats off to that.
Going into the second day competition, I see Reed, Spieth, Walker and Fowler playing with confidence. I think Furyk, Kuchar, Johnson are playing well, but need a spark of something or a few putts to drop. Watson, Simpson, Mahan are our weak links at the moment and all appear to be a bit off their “A” game. Bradley gets a passing grade, but Phil looked different today. Even in the morning, he was fighting himself. He is SO good that mediocre is most other people’s good. That said, this afternoon he was tired and dragged his partner down.
We all can have bad days and tomorrow is a new day. The European’s can be proud of what they have accomplished with a nice comeback in the afternoon play. I expect a fierce battle in the first two matches tomorrow. If the US wins, we have a contest, if not it might be a long uphill battle. That said, it was a fun entertaining opening day.