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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
Sport
Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse come together
football
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The beat is on: Alfred Doda, Gjevat Kelmendi and Orli Shuka in ‘Hyena’
filmReview: Hyena takes corruption and sleaziness to a truly epic level
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 campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis