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Ryder Cup capsules

Ryder Cup capsules

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 26, 2014 at 2:11 p.m.


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GLENAGLES, Scotland (AP) — A capsule look at Friday's matches in the Ryder Cup:

FOURBALLS

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, Europe, def. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, United States, 5 and 4.

Webb Simpson popped up his tee shot. Bubba Watson asked for the crowd to make noise during his opening tee shot and went into the rough. That wasn't nearly as ominous a sign as the rest of their match. Stenson birdied the par-5 second hole and the European team — neighbors at Lake Nona in Florida — didn't have to do much after that. Watson and Simpson didn't make a single birdie over 18 holes. They were 3 down at the turn, and the match ended on the 14th hole. Simpson and Watson won both fourballs matches at Medinah at 5 and 4. That was the score in this one, too.

Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker, United States, halved with Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer, Europe.

Kaymer's first iron shot in this Ryder Cup was almost as good as his last shot in the last Ryder Cup — the winning putt. He nearly holed out for a conceded birdie, and Bjorn followed with a birdie on the second hole. Kaymer made birdie on the par-3 fourth to go 3 up. Jimmy Walker responded for the Americans. He holed out twice to win holes and keep the Americans in range. And on the 18th hole, Walker made a 4-foot birdie to earn a half-point that felt like more.

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, United States, def. Stephen Gallacher and Ian Poulter, Europe, 5 and 4.

Gallacher looked nervous on the first hole playing before his home country. He drove into the right rough and hit into the middle of the hazard. But he had Poulter to carry him — except that Poulter was little help. The tone was set on the opening hole when Poulter blasted out of a bunker to 3 feet and what looked to be a tap-in turned into a shocking lip-out for bogey. Poulter never made a birdie. Spieth and Reed were in every hole, with Reed getting the first birdie putts to fall. They made five birdies in a six-hole stretch to build a 6-up lead through 11 holes, and handed Poulter his worst loss in the Ryder Cup — and his first loss in eight matches.

Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson, United States, def. Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy, Europe, 1 up.

U.S. captain Tom Watson called this the "main event of the first round," and it was. It started out with Mickelson stuffing his approach to 3 feet for birdie, and McIlroy answering from 18 feet. Garcia holed a 100-foot bunker shot on the fourth, and gave back the lead by missing a 3-foot putt on the seventh. Mickelson and Bradley each made birdie on the ninth and 10th for a 2-up lead, only for the Americans to give away three holes with bogeys to fall 1 down with two to play. Bradley drilled an iron into 20 feet on the par-5 16th and made eagle, and then Mickelson won the 18th with a birdie from the bunker for a 1-up victory.

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FOURSOMES

Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood, Europe, def. Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar, United States, 2 up.

Westwood made his share of key putts, sometimes to win the hole, other times to halve. His birdie putt on the par-3 sixth squared the match, and the Americans bogeyed the next hole to fall behind. They never caught up, though they at least had a chance with a birdie on the 16th hole to get within one. Needing to win the 18th hole for a halve, Kuchar hit a poor chip that rolled down the slope of a green. Furyk chipped to a foot to secure par, but when Donaldson rapped his putt up the slope and onto the green, the Americans conceded the putt.

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, Europe, def. Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson, United States, 2 and 1.

A birdie on the opening hole for the Lake Nona neighbors sent them on their way. In both matches Friday, Stenson and Rose never trailed a single time. Even so, this was a tight win. Europe built a 2-up lead with a birdie on the sixth, only for Mahan and Johnson to win the next two holes. The Americans bogeyed the 15th hole to fall behind, and a match that figured to go the distance ended abruptly. Mahan had a 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th to square the match, but he ran it 5 feet by, and Johnson missed the par putt to give Europe the victory.

Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler, United States, halved with Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, Europe.

After this American tandem rallied for a halve, Fowler and Walker had to settle for one. Garcia and McIlroy had a brief lead early, but the Americans seized control with a birdie on No. 11 and a bogey by the Europeans on the 12th. Garcia hit a wild drive into high rough on the 15th leading to bogey, and the Americans were 2 up with three to play. Walker made a short birdie putt to halve the 16th, and the match was dormie. Europe picked up enormous momentum when McIlroy slammed in a 40-foot birdie putt to win the 17th, and then Garcia hit a superb shot out of the rough and onto the green for a two-putt birdie on the 18th. Fowler had a chance to halve the hole and win the match, but his 15-foot putt never had a chance.

Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell, Europe, def. Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, United States, 3 and 2.

Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley became the first U.S. team since 1979 to start out a partnership at 4-0. It got no further than that. McDowell and Dubuisson built a 3-up lead after six holes, and while the Americans reduced the deficit to one hole at the turn, they bogeyed the 10th to again fall 2 down. The Americans never got any closer. Europe came up with key putts, and McDowell ended it with a 25-foot birdie on the par-5 16th.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Doug Ferguson

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