Ryder Cup: The first day of action in Medinah

 

Phil Mickelson celebrated becoming America's most capped Ryder Cup player with two wins on the opening day in Chicago.

Click here for the latest score from the official Ryder Cup website.

Mickelson teamed up with pumped-up debutant Keegan Bradley to beat previously unbeaten foursomes duo Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia 4&3, then world number one Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell 2&1 in the afternoon fourballs.

The left-hander clinched that with a glorious iron on the short 17th.

“That baby was all over the flagstick, but until you see it land you just never know,” he said.

Bradley added: “That shot showed why Phil Mickelson is a Hall of Famer - and I've got so much energy I wish I could go 36 (holes) more.”

It took the United States 4-2 up with two games left on the Medinah course. Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar led Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer by two with five to play, but an inspired Nicolas Colsaerts and Lee Westwood were one up after 14 on Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods, in danger of their second defeat on the day.

It was Davis Love's two current major champions who gained their side the momentum after the morning foursomes had been tied 2-2.

Masters winner Bubba Watson, whipping up the crowd even before he hit a shot, and US Open winner Webb Simpson went to the turn in 29 and were a brilliant 10 under par in winning 5&4 over Scot Paul Lawrie and Swede Peter Hanson, like them omitted from the opening session.

Earlier in the day McIlroy and McDowell hit back from a lengthy rules debate to win on the last green against Jim Furyk and last weekend's £7million man Brandt Snedeker.

But after Europe had led in all four games two hours into the eagerly-awaited clash, the Northern Irishmen's victory followed the first-ever foursomes defeat for both Luke Donald - playing in the city that has been his home for the last 15 years - and Sergio Garcia.

After six successive wins in the format for Donald and eight wins and a half for Garcia since he made his debut in 1999, they went down 4&3 to Mickelson and Bradley, while Westwood and Francesco Molinari were beaten 3&2 by Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner.

The absence of Poulter from the afternoon was the big call by Olazabal. He brings more electricity to the match than anybody and had taken his record to nine wins against only three defeats.

Two of those losses came versus Woods, so to grab his scalp was always going to be huge and his key putt on the 16th was greeted by his now trademark “Come On” roar - and a long, cold star from Woods.

Woods hit a spectator on the head for the second day running and he and Stricker were three over par when they lost, easily the worst scoring of the session.

The early dispute was over whether McDowell could take relief from a sprinkler head by the second green.

It would have meant McDowell putting rather than chipping, but with Furyk stepping in and believing it should not be given a second opinion for called for.

“We've been friends a long time,” Furyk said at one point to McDowell, but the American also then called for calm when a few boos rang out.

McDowell was eventually told to chip and lost the hole, but he and McIlroy then had six birdies in seven holes, the first of them the result of a genius chip by the 23-year-old from over the fourth green.

Furyk had incurred a penalty on the long 10th when his ball move as he prepared to chip, but he and his partner fought back to level, only for Snedeker to hit a simply dreadful drive down the last.

There was still work to be done when McDowell hit into the bunker short of the green, but his partner splashed out to five feet and the 2010 match-winner made no mistake.

Donald said of the defeat for him and Garcia, who were looking to make it five out of five together: “We played solid, they just played a little better.”

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected