On Friday, Pavin went through the emotions instead and won two matches, living up to his reputation as a fearsome match player. His sidekick Lehman was impressive from start to finish in the opening match, blasting a 280-yard three wood off the 1st tee and muscling a 200-yard five-iron from the sopping rough to the elevated 18th green. That gave the Americans their first point and permitted a 2-2 split of the morning matches. More important, the sober-faced Lehman stood up to Faldo when the English star mumbled that Lehman's par putt on the 2nd green was good. "What?" Lehman asked. Faldo muttered again and made a sarcastic gesture indicating he should pick the ball up. "Well, if you'd speak clearly," Lehman said sharply.
"I just wasn't going to take any crap," Lehman said later. "Nick's gesture was like he was saying, 'You stupid little idiot.' I was hot." So hot, in fact, that Pavin had to take Lehman aside and remind him that Faldo was only venting because he had chipped badly. Later, Lehman would admit, "I've always said that if we played match play on our Tour, you'd see a bunch of golfers acting like tennis players."
The most intriguing match, though, was Match 5, the first of the afternoon session, and not just because of Jacobsen's memorable faux par. For 15 holes the legendary Spanish champion Seve Ballesteros steered tee shots into Oak Hill's every woody nook and glade. Meanwhile his partner, 30-year-old David Gilford, played almost flawless golf. What made it remarkable was that virtually everybody gave the credit to Ballesteros. Said Jacobsen, "I think you could put Seve with the paper boy, and Seve could probably bring him through."
The U.S. team won the afternoon's other three matches and, the Spanish Svengali notwithstanding, ended the day with a 5-3 lead to sleep on and a slew of new players to count on. Wadkins's pairings for Saturday morning had Couples, Ben Crenshaw, Faxon and Mickelson sitting out the foursomes and, in a significant show of support, Jacobsen playing. Mickelson, said the captain, "had a real disappointed look on his face" when he got the news, but it was a good bet that the team's youngest member would play in the afternoon four balls. "Phil gives me a lot of options."
Captains love options, and with the comfort of a two-point lead, Wadkins had every imaginable combination at his disposal: big hitters and straight shooters, pepper pots and poker faces, veterans and youths. The only thing that could disturb the day's hard-earned equilibrium was Wadkins's alarm clock, which he set for 6 a.m. You had to wonder which player was on his mind as he fell asleep.