A capsule look at Ryder Cup matchesBy Doug Ferguson, AP
Monday, October 4, 2010
Ryder Cup capsules
NEWPORT, Wales — A capsule look at Monday’s singles matches in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor Resort:
Steve Stricker, U.S., def. Lee Westwood, Europe, 2 and 1.
Westwood overcame an early deficit with two straight birdies, Stricker opened with eight pars and they traded birdies on the par 5s around the turn. The match turned on the 12th hole when Westwood found the rough, couldn’t reach the green and made bogey. On the next hole, Westwood came up short and went into the water to give Stricker the lead. Stricker then drove the 15th green to 20 feet and made the eagle for a 2-up lead. They halved the next two holes.
Stewart Cink, U.S., halved with Rory McIlroy, Europe.
After losing the first two holes, Cink birdied the next two to square the match and never trailed again. But this is one match that likely cost the Americans a half-point. Cink went 1 up on the 13th when McIlroy hit into the water, and he had the advantage on the 15th by driving to the front of the green. McIlroy hit a great chip to 5 feet for birdie, and won the hole when Cink three-putted for par. McIlroy made an 8-foot par putt on the 16th. Cink had a chance to go 1 up, but missed a 5-foot birdie on the 17th. McIlroy went for the 18th in two and found a bunker, then left his shot in the bunker. But he holed a 5-foot par putt for the save.
Luke Donald, Europe, def. Jim Furyk, U.S., 1 up.
Donald stated his case as Europe’s “man of the match” by winning for the third time and looking good doing it. He had to against Furyk, a tough singles player who pushed Donald to the 18th. Donald was 2 up through 10, and poured in 20-foot birdie putts on the next two holes when Furyk was inside 4 feet. Furyk missed a 3-foot par on the 13th to fall 3 down. Donald bogeyed the 14th, then made birdie with his left foot in the water hazard below the 15th green to halve. Furyk birdied the 16th to go 1 down. On the final hole, with Donald about 15 feet away for birdie, Furyk hit his wedge into a bunker.
Dustin Johnson, U.S., def. Martin Kaymer, Europe, 6 and 4.
Johnson couldn’t make a putt all week, and nothing changed in singles. He opened with 10 straight pars, but never trailed. Kaymer had bunker trouble on the first hole to make bogey, three-putted for bogey on the third and dropped another shot on the fifth. Johnson was 2 up when he made his first birdie on the 11th, then he birdied the next two holes and was in position for birdie on the 14th when Kaymer missed his putt and conceded Johnson his putt.
Ian Poulter, Europe, def. Matt Kuchar, U.S., 5 and 4.
Poulter put his passion on display early with a birdie on the third hole, and Kuchar put his ball in the water on the fifth. Poulter stayed 2 up and in control when he delivered one great shot after another, starting with his chip-in for eagle that banged into the pin and disappeared. After Kuchar won his only hole at the 12th, Poulter ran in a long birdie putt, and closed him out with a short birdie on the 14th.
Jeff Overton, U.S., def. Ross Fisher, Europe, 3 and 2.
Fisher birdied the first and third holes to build a quick lead and they halved the fifth hole with birdies. Overton tried to cut into the lead with a pair of birdies, but they were sandwiched around a bogey 6 on the ninth hole. Overton didn’t make a birdie the rest of the way while the Englishman self-destructed. Fisher bogeyed three straight holes starting at No. 12. He had a birdie putt on the 16th, ran it 3 feet by the hole and missed that short one to lose the match.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, Europe, def. Bubba Watson, U.S, 4 and 3.
The Spaniard was playing his first Ryder Cup in Europe, and he picked up his first singles victory with little effort. Watson made a birdie on the second hole to square the match, then didn’t make another the rest of the way. Jimenez seized control with consecutive birdies at the turn, one of them by chipping in. When Watson failed to birdie the shortest par 5 at No. 11, Jimenez was on his way. The Spaniard closed him out with a 3-foot birdie on the 15th after Watson left his birdie attempt short.
Tiger Woods, U.S., def. Francesco Molinari, Europe, 4 and 3.
Woods played one of his better rounds of the year, although it didn’t look good early when Molinari hit his open shot to 3 feet for birdie and won the second hole with a birdie. They wound up trading three birdies on the front match, with Woods making one at No. 9 to square the match. That sent Woods on a blazing stretch. He birdied the par-3 10th, two-putted for birdie on the 11th, holed out from the fairway on No. 12 for birdie, then rolled in a 40-foot birdie on the 13th. He closed the match with a 6-foot birdie, playing his final seven holes in 7-under par.
Rickie Fowler, U.S., halved with Edoardo Molinari, Europe.
Molinari never trailed after winning the opening hole with a par, but this match will be remembered for the finish. The Italian seized control in the middle of the match with four birdies in a five-hole stretch to build a 3-up lead, and when they traded birdies on the 15th, Molinari was 3 up with three to play. That’s when the 21-year-old rookie came to life. He holed a 15-foot birdie on the 16th to stay in the match, then knocked in another 15-foot birdie on the 17th. On the final hole, Fowler made his fourth straight birdie, this one from 18 feet, to earn a halve and leave the Americans a half-point from retaining the cup.
Phil Mickelson, U.S., def. Peter Hanson, Europe, 4 and 2.
Mickelson, winless in team matches for the first time at a Ryder Cup, opened with a birdie, won the second hole when Hanson made double bogey and was on his way. He won the first four holes, and Hanson never got closer than two holes the rest of the way. Mickelson birdied the par-5 11th to go 3 up, birdied the 14th for a 4-up lead and closed out Hanson with his sixth birdie of the match on No. 16.
Zach Johnson, U.S., def. Padraig Harrington, Europe, 3 and 2.
Harrington, under scrutiny as a captain’s pick, bogeyed the first two holes to fall behind, then countered with two birdies to square the match. Johnson took over from there. He birdied three of the next four holes to go 3 up, and stretched his lead to 5 up when Harrington hit into the water on the 13th. Johnson bogeyed the 14th, Harrington birdie the 15th, but the Irishman ran out of holes.
Graeme McDowell, Europe, def. Hunter Mahan, U.S., 3 and 1.
McDowell birdied the first hole and raced to a 3-up lead through seven holes in a match that most observers quickly chalked up to a point for Europe. It turned out to be the decisive match. Mahan made nothing but pars, but McDowell bogeyed the 12th as his lead slipped to 2 up. When it became clear the Americans needed only a halve to win the Ryder Cup, Mahan chipped to 4 feet and birdied the 15th to win the hole. McDowell hit the shot of the tournament, though, holing a 15-foot birdie on the 16th hole for a 2-up lead. Mahan could not afford to lose another hole, but he came up short of the 17th green, flubbed a chip that didn’t reach the green and missed the putt. McDowell, to right of the green, rolled it up to 4 feet and never had to putt.
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