At 7.35am on Friday, September 26, 2014, the talking stopped and the golf began. And it was USA who started the fastest on a beautiful if breezy autumnal morning in fourballs. Two American pairings in particular bonded in a way that would have delighted Watson.
A phenomenal drive
Mickelson and Bradley were one down with three to play against McIlroy and Garcia but Bradley smashed a phenomenal drive to reach the green on the par-four 14th and then sank his eagle putt. A Mickelson birdie on the last and the Americans had a second point.
Jordan Speith and Patrick Reed who had not played together in the practice months, had already combined in spectacular fashion to inflict a rare Ryder Cup defeat on Europe’s talisman Ian Poulter, playing with Scottish rookie Stephen Gallacher.
The tables turn
Trailing 2 ½ -1 ½ after fourballs, Europe took control in the afternoon foursomes by winning three of four matches and halving the other. Only McIlroy and Garcia failed to register a win for Europe. It took a remarkable five-wood from the fairway rough on the 18th from Garcia to rescue a half against Walker and Fowler.