Friday, September 30, 2016

Ryder Cup Day 1 setback for Europeans

USA lead 4-0 after opening foursomes

Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler will not be playing in Friday four-balls.
Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler will not be playing in Friday four-balls. (Getty Images)

CHASKA, Minnesota. – U.S. Captain Davis Love had his four-balls afternoon pairings pretty much nailed down as he stood off the par-3 seventh tee after watching Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker in their match against Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer.
At the time, Love wanted to make sure that the four who sat out in the morning would play in the afternoon, but the quandary was to find out who would sit out of the eight who competed in the morning.
The dilemma became more acute as the U.S. swept all four matches in the morning, the first time the team has gone 4-0 in a Ryder Cup session since 1981.
“We want those four guys that are sitting back there to play, so that they want to watch and see how everybody’s doing well if everybody’s playing great what do you do?” Love said. “I said in the press room it’s hard to sit guys out, it’s easy to put out good pairings, but it’s hard to figure out who will sit out.”
Love was true to his word with his afternoon four-balls pairings:
Match 5: Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed vs. Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson
Match 6: J.B Holmes and Ryan Moore vs. Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello
Match 7: Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka vs. Martin Kaymer and Danny Willett
Match 8: Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar vs. Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters
Paul Azinger, the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup captain – and the last one to bring a U.S. victory – agrees that Love needs to get the four players that did not play in the first session into the fray as quickly as possible.
“My philosophy was to play everybody the first day,” Azinger said. “Give them a taste of it and then determine if we needed to leave ot somebody the second day. But I felt like you earned your right to be here and you deserved an opportunity to play in this great event. I played everybody the first match, actually I didn’t even change my pairings, really, the second day… because they played so well the first day I did the same thing the second day.”
Love kept Spieth and Reed together from the morning foursomes after their 3 and 2 win over Rose and Stenson.
Johnson and Kuchar are also together again after a 5-and-4 victory over Lee Westwood and Pieters.
European captain Darren Clarke has decided to go a different way, sitting both U.S. Amateur champion Mathew Fitzpatrick and Chris Wood for the entire first day, the first time that has happened for the Europeans since 2008 when captain Nick Faldo sat Oliver Wilson until the second day.
Only the afternoon pairing of Rose and Stenson had played together in the morning, as Clarke switched up his line-up from the morning debacle.

USA logo4-0logoEUROPE
Dustin Johnson
Matt Kuchar
5 and 4
Lee Westwood
Thomas Pieters
Jimmy Walker
Zach Johnson
4 and 2
Sergio Garcia
Martin Kaymer
Phil Mickelson
Rickie Fowler
1 hole
Rory McIlroy
Andy Sullivan
Jordan Spieth
Patrick Reed
3 and 2
Henrik Stenson
Justin Rose



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