Thank goodness I was wrong about Phil Mickelson’s start in the Foursomes (although I still hope he sits down at least one match tomorrow, so he will be rested for singles). Mickelson was okay this morning, and his partner Keegan Bradley was absolutely spectacular, which meant they won a match I had the Americans losing. I also was surprised at how poorly Lee Westwood played, helping hand the third match to a steady team of Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson. So the U.S.A. took two matches I thought they would either lose or, at best, tie. On the other hand, I was right to expect the McIlroy/McDowell team of the Euros to play like studs: Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker threw a two-under-par round at them, which in the alternate shot format is really, really solid… but the Northern Irishmen won anyway. And in the last month, Tiger Woods played the single worst round of golf I have ever seen him play. With him spraying shots all over creation and also duffing a few pitch shots, he dragged down partner Steve Stricker. They were plus-3 as a team through 16, before the Engish duo of Poulter and Rose mercifully closed them out.
Result: Through one session, a 2-2 tie, which is better than I had expected from the U.S., thank goodness.
In the afteroon, i question the Euro teams, with Captain Olazabal somewhat surprisingly sitting out Luke Donald, Sergi Garcia, and Ian Poulter. I like the American pairings far better — even the last pairing of Woods and Stricker again, because I just have a hunch that Woods can’t possibly play as badly in the afternoon round as he did this morning. They are matched against a struggling Westwood and rookie Nic Colsaerts, a hugely long hitter with a deft all-around game, but who is prone to streaky play both good and bad. I expect the Americans to win two matches and halve one or two others, and thus to go into tomorrow with a lead. This time, I hope I am right.