Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ryder Cup: Day Two Wrap-Up

The Americans continued to play well today, and they have a 10-6 lead going into tomorrow's singles matches.  Here were today's results:

MORNING ALTERNATE SHOT (U.S. teams listed first):
Watson/Simpson v. Rose/Poulter 1UP
7 & 6 Bradley/Mickelson v. Westwood/Donald
2 & 1 Dufner/Z. Johnson v. Colsaerts/Garcia
1 UP Furyk/Snedeker v. McIlroy/McDowell

Score after the morning:  United States 8 - 4 Europe

The Americans had a great morning, due in large part to the continued excellence of Keegan Bradley, as he and Mickelson blew the doors off of Westwood and Garcia.  But the huge win by Furyk and Snedeker over the Macs -- who I thought would be Europe's strongest team -- that really made the difference in the morning round.

AFTERNOON BEST BALL (U.S. teams listed first)
5 & 4 Watson/Simpson v. Rose/Molinari
1 UP D. Johnson/Kuchar v. Colsaerts/Lawrie
Woods/Stricker v. Donald/Garcia 1 UP
Dufner/Z. Johnson v. McIlroy/Poulter 1 UP

Score after the afternoon:  United States 10 - 6 Europe

The United States continued its strong play in the afternoon, and actually came agonizingly close to taking all four matches.  Stricker -- who was terrible in all three of the matches that he and Tiger lost -- had a 10-foot birdie put to win the 18th hole and get half a point from Donald and Garcia after Tiger had made a series of birdies down the stretch to help the Americans.  But his putt lipped out.  And in the final match, Dufner and Zach Johnson played well enough to beat any normal human -- but not enough to beat Ian Poulter, who is now 11-3 in Ryder Cup play.  Poulter birdied the last five holes of the match -- and his team needed all five of those birdies.  Thanks to his spectacular play, the Europeans still have a chance to pull out the cup tomorrow if they can win 8 of the 12 singles points.

Still, the Americans have their biggest lead at this stage in the proceedings since the 1981 Ryder Cup, and Davis Love III has done a good job of giving his younger guys plenty of action without losing his older guys.

The British bookies now have the Americans as 1 to 8 favorites to take the Cup tomorrow, while Europe is 8 to 1 to win the most points.  The odds on a tie -- which would also give Europe the Cup -- are 16 to 1.  We will hope the British bookies are right, and that the favorites prevail tomorrow.

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