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U.S. steals lead in AM session at Ryder Cup

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

With a pair of comeback matches coming down to the 18th hole at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, Team U.S. managed to secure a 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 points lead after the morning session Four-Balls at the 40th Ryder Cup.

Just when it looked like Team Europe could take a 3-1 lead on home soil, the team of Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker rallied to halve their match against Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjorn thanks to a Walker up-and-down birdie at the final hole.

Then in the headliner match, Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley dispatched Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia 1UP thanks to an eagle at No. 16 by Keegan to tie the match and then Mickelson’s birdie at the last to win it and close out the morning session.

U.S. Team Captain Tom Watson rolled the dice, according to some experts, by rolling out his three rookies in the morning session and sitting a pair of Top 10 world ranked players — Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk. The gamble paid off with an American lead.

The afternoon alternate-shot format is underway with Team Europe rallying with some early leads.

The weather in Scotland has turned from sunny and cold to overcast, windy and colder for the four afternoon matches. 

Team Europe leads in three of the four matches in the afternoon session including Lee Westwood-Jamie Donaldson, who are 2UP through 15 against Kuchar-Furyk. None of the matches are more than 2UP as all have just about reached the back nine.

Match Recap:

  • Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson d. Bubba Watson-Webb Simpson 5&4. The European team opened the Ryder Cup for the defending champions in style. The U.S. duo, failed to win a hole. Webb was 2-0 in his Four-Ball history coming into the match.
  • Fowler-Walker halved Kaymer-Bjorn. The U.S. squad rallied late. Walker, who was 11th on the PGA Tour this year in Strokes Gained Putting, drained a birdie to tie the match.
  • Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed d. Ian Poulter-Stephen Gallacher 5&4. Captain Watson’s rookies hammered the Euro duo beating Poulter and his vaulted Ryder Cup record (12-3 heading into this year). Reed carded four birdies, while the European team failed to win a hole.
  • Mickelson-Bradley d. McIlroy-Garcia 1UP. The U.S. team remained undefeated as a pair improving to 4-0. Rory managed just one birdie on his round.