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Ready, Set, Oh, No!
GARY VAN SICKLE
October 02, 2006
After all the talk of fun and family, the U.S. got off to a familiar shaky start
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October 02, 2006

Ready, Set, Oh, No!

After all the talk of fun and family, the U.S. got off to a familiar shaky start

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U.S. EUR. FOUR-BALL
1 0 JIM FURYK and TIGER WOODS defeat PADRAIG HARRINGTON and COLIN MONTGOMERIE 1 up
The supposed superteam ekes out the only U.S. win
1 1/2 1/2 STEWART CINK and J.J. HENRY halve PAUL CASEY and ROBERT KARLSSON
Henry's four birdies on final nine erase 3-down deficit
1 1/2 1 1/2 SERGIO GARCIA and JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL defeat DAVID TOMS and BRETT WETTERICH 3 and 2
Sergio makes two birdies and just misses four others
1 1/2 2 1/2 DARREN CLARKE and LEE WESTWOOD defeat CHRIS DIMARCO and PHIL MICKELSON 1 up
Neither American can make a big shot on final holes
U.S. EUR. FOURSOMES
2 3 CHAD CAMPBELL and ZACH JOHNSON halve HARRINGTON and PAUL MCGINLEY
Birdie-birdie-birdie finish makes it feel like U.S. win
2 1/2 3 1/2 CINK and TOMS halve DAVID HOWELL and HENRIK STENSON
Eight total birdies in best-played match of session
3 4 DIMARCO and MICKELSON halve MONTGOMERIE and WESTWOOD
Lots of fireworks on front, but few highlights on back
3 5 LUKE DONALD and GARCIA defeat FURYK and WOODS 2 up
Furyk will long remember dreadful water ball at 18

Another opening day, another hole for the Americans, who for the fifth consecutive Ryder Cup found themselves playing from behind after the first two sessions--and it could have been worse, considering that the U.S. won only one of the eight matches. The first sign that the Americans might once again be headed for the ( Oakland) hills occurred during the first match on the 1st tee, when the world's best player, Tiger Woods, yanked his drive--with a three-wood!--into a water hazard.

Here We Go Again
Right off the bat, the U.S. finds itself playing catch-up

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]


Slights & Grievances

? After Donald holed a monster 35-footer for birdie to give his team a 2-up lead in its foursomes match against Furyk and Woods, partner Garc´┐Ża walked in behind the putt with his tongue hanging out--a not-too-subtle slam at Tiger's inside-the-ropes fan, Michael Jordan (above).

? Vaughn Taylor and captain's pick Scott Verplank were the only players who didn't tee it up on Friday.

? Henry played better than any American in the morning, but before completing the 32 on the back nine that allowed him and Cink to pull out a halve, Lehman had already submitted his afternoon lineup and Henry wasn't in it.

? Three Europeans ranked among the top 15 in the world-- Donald (ninth), Stenson (11th) and Howell (13th)--sat out the morning four-balls.

HOLE STORY

With seven of the matches going the distance, the 18th, a reachable 537-yard par-5, saw plenty of drama. The hole should have been an advantage for the Americans, but they won it only once--when Campbell and Johnson swiped a half-point from Harrington and McGinley--lost it twice and halved it four times.

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