Tantalising Ryder Cup start at Gleneagles

The Friday foursomes promised to be exhilarating from the moment Rory McIlroy sank his birdie putt at the first to halve the hole. It proved to be a day full of surprises.

 

The first foursome of Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson versus Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson was one-way traffic as the European duo smashed the match 5&4.

 

After an electric start from Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjorn it looked impossible for Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker to play their way back into the match, but the pair managed to fight it out. Thanks to some lovely ball-striking the match was halved.

 

The biggest surprise of the day came from the third foursome, in which Ian Poulter missed a short putt at the first and went on to bomb out with Ryder Cup rookie Stephen Gallacher. It was no veteran that won it for the US, with the rookie pair of Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed finding a dovetail combination that stopped their opponents from getting back into the match. The US claimed its first point of the day with a convincing 5&4 victory.

 

If there was a featured match it was McIlroy and Sergio Garcia versus Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson. The Europeans took an early lead when Garcia hit the shot of the day and holed out from a greenside bunker at the sixth, but soon the tides turned. Bradley is a match play favourite and an incredible putt at the 16th brought the matches back to all-square. It came down to the last where both McIlroy and Garcia hit poor tee shots on their way to giving the US players a putt each to win the match, which they did.

 

At the close of the first session the points were Europe 1.5 and US 2.5. 

 

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