by Jeff Skinner
Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson. We don’t have to look too far to find our first and most resounding DUD of day one at the Ryder Cup. Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson started the day off and proceeded to lay the biggest egg of the day for the Americans. Bubba and his personal head doctor couldn’t even manage a single bogey in a very disheartening 5 & 4 loss to Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.
Rosey and The Terminator (tell me he doesn’t look like a cyborg) were able to card five birdies while Bubba and Webb had a hard time finding the green…forget about birdies. Zero birdies in 14 holes. That doesn’t get it done on this stage. Both of them should be banished to the team room until Sunday.
Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher. The world was ready for another dose of Poulter the Maniacal. But the gleam was gone from those bulging eyes as Poults and his Scottish partner, Stephen Gallacher were on the wrong end of another 5 & 4 beat down. Poulter couldn’t make a putt and Gallacher looked shell shocked. Rookie phenoms Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed toasted the European Team from the start and even had a six up lead before their first bogey of the round handed the Euro’s their only hole of the day.
Tom Watson. Watson did some things right but a few moves left him open for second guessing. Phil Mickelson needs rest this week and sending him out in the afternoon while a hot Spieth and Reed sat was questionable. His move of leaving veterans Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk on the bench in the morning was odd but with the play of Spieth and Reed he was redeemed.
Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. These two were the only players on either team to earn two points today. They shellacked Bubba and Webb 5 & 4 in the morning and for lunch they ate up Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson 2 & 1. I think they may be joined at the hip until Sunday Singles.
Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. Watson showed plenty of faith in these two rookies sending them out together and against Ryder Cup stud Ian Poulter no less. The rooks took the Euro’s to the woodshed with a painful 5 & 4 drubbing. They pleaded with Captain Watson to head out in the afternoon but were sent to the sidelines.
Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson. These two were rested and ready when a tired Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley faced them after a pressure filled 1 up win over Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia. GMAC and Frenchy got off to a 3 up lead early as the Americans bogeyed two of the first five holes. Phil and Keegs made a bit of a comeback but the fresh legs of the Euro’s outlasted the yanks 3 & 2.
Captain Paul McGinley. He got all his players on the course and has a two point lead on a home course. Enough said. And it looks like that whole Irish Litigation thing may have some legs. Rory and GMAC, formerly inseparable weren’t paired together and won’t be for the Saturday morning session. Unless they play together in the afternoon foursomes we can kiss that partnership goodbye.
Jimmy Walker. Did anyone make more dramatic plays than the lanky Texan? He sank a shot from a bunker for an eagle at nine, birdied 16 with a chip in and sank the putt that secured a great comeback in the morning fourballs to halve the match.
Captain Tom Watson. Yes, Old Tom is both a STUD and a DUD. For having the balls to put rookies Spieth and Reed out unaccompanied by an old tested veteran he deserves some credit.