U.S. Ryder Cup team takes commanding 8-4 lead
If not for one of the best European teams in recent memory, Saturday morning would have been a complete disaster for the visitors.
Justin Rose and Ian Poulter eked out a one-up winning, struggling throughout their match to put away Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson. In fact, Simpson played as poorly as I've witnessed, up close, in quite some time, missing putts, yanking drives and shanking shots around the green.
All told, it wasn't a pretty round for either side.
On the back nine, only one hole even featured a birdie, and both teams did that on the 11th. Otherwise, there were bogeys and pars galore.
"It was a very intense match right from that first tee shot," Poulter said. "It was really important to come out on top of that match.
"A win is a win."
Added Rose, "We won ugly today."
That's more than their teammates can say.
Lee Westwood and Luke Donald were beaten 7 & 6 by Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson, only the third time any Ryder Cup team has won by such a massive margin.
Meanwhile, Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson continued their strong play, cooling off Nicolas Colsaerts, who partnered with Sergio Garcia, with a 2 & 1 win.
The most surprising result, though, was Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker winning one up over the fearsome Irish duo of Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell. Furkyk, a captain's pick, carried the American team down the stretch with some clutch shots.
The afternoon pairings are just going off but here's the list:
* Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar vs. Nicolas Colsaerts and Paul Lawrie
* Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson vs. Francesco Molinari and Justin Rose
* Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker vs. Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald
* Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson vs. Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter
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