Tuesday 12 November 2019

Ryder Cup Day 1: Game-by-game

FOURSOMES

Furyk and Snedeker lost to McIlroy and McDowell by 1 hole

Both McDowell and Furyk went left into the trees in a nervy start, but the hole was halved in par and then came controversy on the second as the Americans questioned McDowell asking for relief from a sprinkler head by the green.

There were some boos, but then cheers from the home fans when a second referee told McIlroy to play from the rough and Europe went one down, only for them to hit back with four successive birdies.

Only two were for wins, but McIlroy's inspired 45-foot chip-in at the fourth switched the momentum. Although the Americans levelled with a par at the eighth McDowell finished the outward with a 25-foot putt and Furyk incurred a penalty shot when his ball moved as he prepared to chip on the long 10th.

When McIlroy then holed from 15 feet - that after Snedeker hit into a fan's bag - Europe were three up with seven to go, but they bogeyed the short 13th and McDowell, having holed from 15 feet for a half at the next, pushed his drive into the lake on 15 and found a bunker at 16.

With Furyk playing a magnificent approach to three feet there they were level, but Snedeker hit a shocking drive down the last and the Northern Irishman, bunkered in two, won when McIlroy splashed out to five feet and his partner holed.

Mickelson and Bradley beat Donald and Garcia 4&3

On his ninth appearance Mickelson became America's most capped player, but it was a 20-foot birdie putt by debutant Bradley at the second that drew first blood.

Europe's unbeaten foursomes duo took the long fifth with a two-putt birdie and the next with a par when Donald, playing in the city that has been his home for 15 years, holed from eight feet before Bradley replied in kind at the ninth to put both pairs out in a one under 35.

The 10th was shared in birdie fours, but Donald had his third lip-put of the game on the 12th and when Mickelson holed from 18 feet at the 245-yard 13th the gap was two.

That became three with four to play when Garcia missed from four feet on the long 14th and the end came when the pumped-up Bradley holed from 30 feet at the next. "One of the most memorable days of my life," he said.

Dufner and Johnson bt Westwood and Molinari 3&2

The Americans bogeyed the first after Dufner drove into sand, but he made amends with a six-footer for birdie on the next.

Westwood and Molinari were back in front with another at the fourth and both sides birdied the long fifth before Westwood missed a four-foot par putt and lost the sixth.

His partner came good again with a winning 10-foot birdie at the next, but back-to-back birdies around the turn took the Americans one ahead for the first time after trailing on three separate occasions.

The next four holes were shared in pars, but Westwood hit an awful tee shot well into the water on the driveable 15th and it was all over when he and Molinari - without his brother Edoardo alongside him this time, of course - three-putted the next.

Stricker and Woods lost to Poulter and Rose 2&1

Woods hit a horrid hook off the first tee - worse than the one that finished in a lake at the start of the 2006 match in Ireland - and although it was halved in par Stricker then hit into the water on the short second.

Poulter and Rose bogeyed the next, but Rose rolled in a 30-foot putt on the fourth. Woods was wild again at the fifth, missed a six-foot putt to lose the sixth and then hit a spectator on the head for the second day running.

That came at the 617-yard seventh, but it did not stop the home pair making a winning birdie to cut the deficit to just one, only for Poulter to hole a bunker shot at the 11th and Woods to miss a seven-footer on the next.

The English pair bogeyed the 13th, won the 14th when Poulter holed from seven feet, then lost the 15th to a birdie after Woods's drive this time hit a tree and luckily rebounded close to the green.

Poulter let out a huge "Come On" roar, however, when he drained a nine-footer for a half at the 16th - Woods just stared at him - and a half was three sealed the victory, Poulter's ninth in 12 games but first over Woods.

Watson and Simpson beat Lawrie and Hanson 5&4



The American pair had not featured in the morning session despite both having won major titles in 2012 - Watson claiming the US Masters and Simpson the US Open - but they had won three of their four matches at the Presidents Cup last year and got off to a blistering start after Watson encouraged the crowd to cheer even while he hit his opening shot. "I told the European team if I'm going to play bad I'm going to at least have fun on the first tee shot," the left-hander explained.



After Simpson birdied the first, a par was good enough to win the second and Watson birdied the third, although Hanson did likewise to stay two down. Simpson then birdied the fourth and fifth and Lawrie's first birdie of the day on the fifth was again only enough to prevent further damage. However, there was nothing the European pair could do when Watson rolled in a hat-trick of birdies from the sixth to move six ahead after eight holes and seven under par.



That had journalists scanning the history books for details of record defeats - 7&5 is the record loss in fourballs - but Hanson matched Simpson's birdie on the 10th and Lawrie won the 11th with a birdie to get back to five down. The Scot, making his first appearance in the contest since 1999, also followed Simpson in for another birdie on the 12th, but the belated resistance eventually came to an end on the par-five 14th.



Watson found the green in two to set up a straightforward birdie and although Hanson and Lawrie were not guaranteed to match it, they were conceded a birdie as the American pair finished 10 under par and 5&4 winners.



Mickelson and Bradley beat McIlroy and McDowell 2&1



Bradley had been highly impressive in partnering Mickelson to a 4&3 foursomes win over Garcia and Donald, ending the European pair's unbeaten record in the format, so it was no surprise to see them back out in the same slot in fourballs. McIlroy and McDowell had also won in foursomes, but only on the 18th green after almost squandering a three-hole lead with six to play.



The American pair made a flying start with three straight birdies to go three up and, after losing the next to par, also birdied the seventh and eighth to move four ahead. McIlroy and McDowell were just two under on the front nine but at least won the ninth with a birdie to be three down at the turn.



That was how it stayed until McIlroy conjured a perfect chip from the back of the 14th green for a tap-in birdie to close the gap, but the world number one's birdie on the 15th was matched by Bradley and Mickelson closed the door in style.



McIlroy had hit an excellent tee shot on the 17th to around 15ft, but Mickelson hit his to inside three feet - "That baby was all over the flagstick," he said - and was not asked to hole it as he and Bradley enjoyed their second win of the day.



D Johnson and Kuchar beat Rose and Kaymer 3&2



For once it was the European pair who made the best start as Rose - who had combined with Ian Poulter for a foursomes win against Woods and Stricker - birdied the first, but it was one-way traffic from then on. Johnson birdied the second to get back to all square and Kuchar then took over with four birdies in a row from the fourth.



Rose was only able to match one of those, on the sixth, and with Kaymer failing to contribute any birdies, they found themselves three down at the turn and in need of some inspiration to turn the match around. Rose did his best with a long-range birdie on the 12th but despite an excellent tee shot on the 13th, Kaymer never looked like converting the birdie attempt.



Rose was again the man to make birdie on the 14th to match that of Johnson - whose nonchalant style met with approval by his watching captain - but the Englishman finally felt the pressure on the 15th and missed from seven feet before Johnson holed to go three up with three to play. The 16th was halved in par and the American pair claimed a deserved win.



Woods and Stricker lost to Westwood and Colsaerts by1 hole



Woods and Stricker had suffered their third straight defeat in team play together in the foursomes, but captain Davis Love pinned his hopes on a change of format and kept faith with the experienced pair. Westwood had struggled on the greens in his morning defeat alongside Molinari but was put out to guide rookie Colsaerts, who was one of Olazabal's two wild cards.



Colsaerts certainly did not play like a rookie as he birdied three of the first five holes and narrowly missed birdie putts on the other two - including a complete horseshoe on the third. That was only good enough to be all square however as Woods birdied the first and fifth and Stricker made two on the second, but Colsaerts promptly birdied the seventh and ninth as well to put Europe one up at the turn.



That became two up on the next as an inspired Colsaerts rifled a long-iron approach to five feet for an eagle three - the first of the event - but Woods hit back with a long-range birdie on the next. Westwood could simply not buy a putt and missed from 10ft for the win on the 12th, only for Colsaerts to hammer in another birdie on the 13th to restore a two-hole lead. Woods responded again on the 14th but Colsaerts was simply sensational and - after Westwood had driven into the water on 15 for the second time - rolled in his seventh birdie to double the lead.



Westwood and Stricker could have just walked off and left their partners to it by now, Woods holing from 25ft to win the 16th and then putting his tee shot on the 17th to four feet. However, Colsaerts could not do a thing wrong and holed from 22ft for a birdie two to leave Woods to hole to keep the match alive. Woods gave himself a chance to snatch a half on the 18th but narrowly missed from 15ft and Europe claimed a vital point with Colsaerts carding eight birdies and an eagle.



The Left Wing: Ben Te’o on England’s World Cup defeat, Eddie Jones and his Toulon adventure

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport