Europe cashes in with Alt-Shot drubbing, leads 5-3

Day One  — 40th Ryder Cup — Gleneagles Resort’s PGA Centenary Course –Perthshire, Scotland —

Team Europe rallied past the Americans in the afternoon session (alternate shot) at 40th Ryder Cup winning three matches and halving one in dramatic fashion.

By day’s end, Europe leads 5-3 heading into Saturday’s session at Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course in Scotland.

Trailing 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 after the morning sessions, Team Europe stormed out early in the alternate shot led by Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson. The Euro duo jumped out 3UP through five holes against the previously undefeated pairing of Phil Mickelson-Keegan Bradley. Meanwhile, Lee Westwood and Jamie Donaldson (who both sat out the morning session) handled the World Ranking Top 10 pair of Jim Furyk-Matt Kuchar 2UP.

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson won a pair of matches Friday in Day One, closing out the afternoon session 2&1 against Hunter Mahan-Zach Johnson. Rose is now 8-2 in Ryder Cup competitions now in his third appearance.

The headliner duel in the afternoon and, perhaps the pivotal match of the cup so far, saw Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia rally with three straight birdies to finish off their match against Rickie Fowler-Jimmy Walker. With the Americans 2UP with two to play, Rory rolled in a bomb putt on No. 17 to set the tone. Fowler missed the winning putt for the U.S. but secured a halve.

Saturday’s morning session four-ball match ups:

  • Rose-Stenson vs. Bubba Watson-Kuchar
  • Donaldson-Westwood vs. Furyk-Mahan
  • Kaymer-Bjorn vs. Reed-Spieth
  • McIlroy-Ian Poulter vs. Fowler-Walker

Other Golf News:

  • Several players including Jay Haas and John Cook are 1-under and co-leading in the early stages of round one of the Champions Tour’s Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.
  • Fowler has yet to win a match in Ryder Cup — this is just his second appearance. But, his record is 0-1-4 in five matches.
  • Reed and Spieth shot 67 as a team in the morning session Friday in dispatching of Poulter-Stephen Gallacher. Spieth logged seven Top 10s this season on the PGA Tour, while Reed managed four Top 10s including a pair of victories.
  • Garcia will sit out the morning session Saturday along with McDowell, Dubuisson and Gallacher. While Captain Tom Watson will rest four major champions Bradley, Webb Simpson, Johnson and Mickelson.
  • Rory debuted a new driver this week opting for the NIKE Vapor instead of his trusty Covert model. He seemed to struggle during Day One off the tee managing just one birdie on his own ball in the morning match.
  • Furyk, No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is 1-8-1 in four-ball history in the Ryder Cup heading into Saturday’s morning session.
  • Westwood’s victory alongside Dubuisson moves him to within three points of tying Nick Faldo for the most points in Ryder Cup history for Team Europe.