sports gazette

Ryder Cup 2016 Read: Friday

Published: 1 Oct 2016

It’s been a mixed bag on the first day at Hazeltine Club, Minnesota. Here is your first daily review of the Ryder Cup 2016.

Morning Analysis

With the mist settled on Hazeltine Lake, the American crowd flowed in their masses and brought the noise to the 41st Ryder Cup. And the golf certainly delivered!

Jordan Speith and Patrick Reed opened proceedings against Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. None of the players were superb though with Speith struggling with long-range shots whilst Rose and Stenson failed to shut the door.

After Speith and Reed made birdies on the second and third holes, Rose and Stenson hit a bogey on the 12th hole. Not the gold and silver standard we saw in Rio.

This set the trend for the rest of Team USA. Phil Mickleson, who hit the crowd on almost every shot, and Ricky Fowler flirted with defeat against Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan but pulled through with six points to Europe’s five.

Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson were behind at the 11th hole but won the next five holes on the bounce to secure an emphatic victory.

The only notable performance from Team Europe came from debutant Thomas Pieters, who was shaky from start to finish.

Afternoon Analysis

The performance of the afternoon has to go to Brandt Snedeker. The American managed four birdies against Martin Kaymer and Masters champion Danny Willett, who only hit one birdie all afternoon.

Stenson and Rose went out with all guns blazing. Again, Team USA made the better start to the round but Stenson’s consistency and Rose’s tenacity on the putting green sealed the first vital point for Team Europe.

The best combination of the afternoon was Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello. The Spanish pair dominated from the start with four birdies in ten holes. Team USA’s J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore could not cope and their lack of experience was clear to see.

Who better to finish the day than Rory McIlroy? Whilst Pieters turned his game around with some superb birdies against Johnson and Kuchar, it was McIlroy who had the level head to keep Europe in the game and hole an eagle putt on the 16th hole.

Taking a 5-3 score into the clubhouse was the best Europe could have hoped for after the morning session disaster and leaves Team USA far from comfortable. The contest is heating up already!

Friday, Gleneagles, 2014: Four-balls- USA 2 ½ - 1 ½ Europe Foursomes- USA 3 – 5 Europe

History Says…

It is very common for Team USA to take the lead on day one. However, this was the first time Team USA won the first game of the Ryder Cup since 1975. This year, of course, is famous for being the last time Arnold Palmer played for Team USA.

Funny on the Furlong!

One man won the whole crowd over today and he wasn’t even a professional golfer! American spectator David Johnson heckled Stenson for missing a 12-foot putt. Cue an invitation onto the green and Rose to lay down $100. 12-foot putt: sunk by Johnson! It was a great way get the crowd going for the rest of the day.

Next to Tee

Expect Speith to feature in the starting pair again for Team USA on Saturday but the question is whether Snedeker and Koepka can produce another stellar performance today.

The Spanish inquisition of Garcia and Cabrero could be the influential factor for Europe alongside Rose and Stenson. We are yet to see 22-year-old Matt Fitzpatrick take to the green though so could he spring a surprise for the Ryder Cup holders?  

We will bring you reviews of the Ryder Cup action from Saturday and Sunday. Make sure you like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!

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