Ryder Cup Day One: First Fourball matches revealed

Marcus Newton
September 30, 2018

"Tiger has spent so much time with Patrick and Jordan".

Jim Furyk has spent four days watching his team play loose and confident, two key ingredients he hopes will allow the Americans to end 25 years without winning the Ryder Cup away from home.

And then Europe finished even better.

But the Northern Irishman is determined Europe won't single him out for special attention at Le Golf National.

"I think to focus on one player is silly, especially when I might not even see him at any point this week because I mightn't be on the course with him or play against him".

"I've lost golf tournaments from getting in my own way", Hatton said Tuesday. "We came here to win something else". It looked tiring (on video) to have to play golf like that for three days.

"Are they good?" Woods asked to plenty of laughter.

The pair are joined by Woods and Mickelson, veterans of a combined 17 Ryder Cups and 75 matches, while Bjorn turned to Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey and Europe's talisman Ian Poulter to add experience to his line-up.

European captain Thomas Bjorn said he had no hesitation in giving four of his five rookies an early taste of the action, with only Swede Alex Noren having to wait his turn. "We know it's a marathon, and we're delighted with the way the day turned out because it was a fairly tough morning". If it was the middle of the season, I would have looked at it like a blessing in disguise. It was his awesome fortune that turned the tide in the morning.

Ryder Cup rookie Tony Finau got the honor of hitting the first shot at Le Golf National.

In the afternoon, the mood changed in the mild air and freshening wind.

- This is Spieth's third consecutive Ryder Cup appearance.

McIlroy certainly has high hopes for his teammates and is relying on previous success to carry them through again this year.

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"It's a daunting week", said Poulter, who recalled his own debut in 2004 at Oakland Hills, and the unusual sensations he felt as he walked out for his first match.

"Their legendary careers, to be with them and be a part of that, I'm pretty sure Tiger and Phil would start crying if they did win".

Furyk tried to see the big picture.

"My dad spoke to her uncle, and it was very sad when we found out, for many reasons: not only because she was way too young, but she was just too nice of a person, and the way it happened", he said. "We are not happy with it".

The US are the favourites with the bookmakers at $1.92 to win the Ryder Cup outright, with Europe claiming it back at $2.4. It has Dustin Johnson, who is back at No. 1 in the world.

Right behind them, McIlroy recovered from his bad morning by joining forces with European stalwart Poulter, who lived up to his reputation.

A day later, however, he was accompanied on his practice round by Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson and Bryson Dechambeau, the rookie looking his most likely partner. "Usually who plays the last hole well determines the Cup". That's what the pressure of the Ryder Cup is about: the guys who can knock in the putts.

One of the year's biggest sporting events starts on Friday when Europe take on the United States to try to reclaim the Ryder Cup.

Finau also isn't a great putter. "I think the one thing that you can say about both of us is that we are both fearless".

"It's a different atmosphere and one that we absolutely love". Justin Rose gave Europe a quick lead with a brilliant approach that stopped about 3 feet from the cup, resulting in a birdie putt that was little more than a tap-in.

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- The 2018 Ryder Cup is the second to be held in continental Europe after 1997 when it was played at Valderrama in Spain. Reed hit into the water, and Woods never had a chance at par.

"They put it on us, and we couldn't answer", Woods said. "They have a great team, obviously".

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