Saturday, October 23, 2021

US captain Ryder Cup hopes

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Looking at the day’s results we see a lot of promise: and a few high shocks.

We expect that we’ll hear from every American on the weekend about what a great performance by @jordogillette was today. #JBLgdt pic.twitter.com/RFLXYeOTso — Ryder Cup (@RyderCup) June 8, 2020

1. Kohlschreiber recovers late

Johann Kohlschreiber of Germany made the most of a nervous start to his afternoon match to lead Patrick Reed 3-2. One moment he was 2 down with three holes to play, the next he was even. Kohlschreiber had two solid 3-and-2s, and won the last with a birdie.

2. Jordan Spieth now 1-2 against Justin Rose

Spieth evened up the match, winning with a par and a birdie (the eagle on the par-5 fifth). He made an outstanding bunker shot that gave him a chance on the 15th, and sunk a 45-foot birdie on the 18th hole to come back for the two-hole victory.

At this point in his career, having lost the second hole and giving up the three-hole lead to Rose, I’m thinking Jordan Spieth might not respond well to being behind. Still, he’s the world number one and is capable of putting together a spectacular comeback when needed.

3. Tiger back at 2-2, moving into weekend play with his feet under the table

While the day started rough for Tiger Woods, he got things together just in time to start with a lead at the start of the day. But Tiger couldn’t keep the good vibes going and ended the day 1-2. His best position now is to at least make it to the weekend, where anything is possible.

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4. Sergio Garcia holds top spot in the clubhouse

After the U.S. lost on the third hole, Sergio Garcia made a great putt for birdie on the fourth and got his 2-up lead back to 2-up. He knows his chances of winning are higher after today’s performance, but after looking capable on the opening day, Garcia will need to make another strong showing if he hopes to defeat Jim Furyk in match two of the afternoon.

5. Brandt Snedeker falls behind quickly against Kevin Kisner, moves to 1-2

Brandt Snedeker fell into a hole from which it was hard to dig himself out on Saturday. The tiebreaker hole in the first hole proved costly, as Kisner saw it go in for birdie to establish a 2-up lead that proved too difficult to overcome.

6. Upstart Bryson DeChambeau down on the last

Bryson DeChambeau had some momentum going on, as he made the turn at 2-up. But the 16th hole was extremely tricky and meant DeChambeau had no margin for error. He went in for a birdie, while Chappell could only get up and down, moving him 1-up. But it wasn’t enough to undo DeChambeau’s 4-1 day, and it wasn’t enough to prevent him from falling to 1-2.

7. Rickie Fowler ties up match, takes sole lead

Rickie Fowler finished the front nine with three straight birdies and had a half-point advantage over Justin Rose after playing the first nine in 3-under. But Rose responded on the back nine with three straight birdies of his own, tying the match back up, at 2-all. The back-nine swing decided the match, and Fowler holds the four-hole lead.

8. Tony Finau evens up the last, moves to 4-1-1 for the day

Tony Finau is the leader now at 4-1-1, and also the top seed, and following his Sunday fast start has given himself a very good chance at the Cup. At the two-hole closing hole, however, he couldn’t make an acrobatic chip on the 11th, and paid for it, as Chad Campbell won on the 13th to square the match.

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