Davis Love III insisted he never intended to have any of his players compete in every Ryder Cup match.
“It’s a big, long golf course. It’s tough,” Love said of Medinah Country Club. “We don’t want guys to be worn out.”
For the first time in his Ryder Cup career, Tiger Woods will not play in a session, shelved for the Saturday morning matches.
That isn’t wholly surprising since he and Steve Stricker lost both matches on Friday, although the afternoon one was more understandable. Nicolas Colsaerts, making his Ryder Cup debut, made eight birdies and an eagle to single-handedly edge Stricker and Woods.
“We need Tiger and Steve in the afternoon,” Davis said, referring to Saturday. “We need Tiger and Steve on Sunday.”
With a 5-3 advantage after the opening day, Love’s decision to play Woods Friday afternoon may pay dividends later. He was terrible in the morning, spraying shots everywhere. But, after a short visit with his swing coach Sean Foley, Woods made adjustments for the afternoon. He straightened out his drive, he sunk some putts, and, despite Colsaerts’ hot hand, nearly stole 1/2 a point on the 18th.
“Yeah, Nicolas probably had one of the greatest putting rounds I’ve ever seen,” Woods said. “We had a chance to all square on the last hole, and I missed it.”
The hot pairing for the U.S. was Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. They won both matches, taking out a couple of Euro’s top teams, Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia in the morning (4 & 3) and Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell (2 & 1) in the afternoon.
“We had a lot of fun,” Mickelson said. “We had a good time and we played well, and it was really fun for me to play with Keegan. He’s just got a lot of great energy. He hits a lot of great shots and he drives the ball as well as I’ve ever seen a person drive it.
“Alternate shot was my favorite format because I got to hit the next shot. Best ball, I had to play my own drive, which wasn’t as fun. We made some putts and we were able to walk away with two wins over two really tough teams.”
Here is the Saturday match ups:
7:20 a.m. — Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson vs. Justin Rose and Ian Poulter
7:35 a.m. — Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson vs. Lee Westwood and Luke Donald
7:50 a.m. — Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson vs. Nicolas Colsaerts and Sergio Garcia
8:05 a.m. — Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker vs. Rory McIlroy