U.S. Jumps Out to Early Lead at 2010 Ryder Cup

Heavy rain has caused problems and delays for the PGA golfers playing in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and the visiting U.S. team is looking to regain the Cup after winning at Valhalla two years ago. How Tiger Woods would fare this year was under a lot of speculation, as well as captain Corey Pavin’s decision to add him to the team.

It has been no secret that when Woods is paired with Steve Stricker, the two are dominating. They showed their dominance again on Saturday as they extended the Americans lead to 5-3 with their 4-and-3 win over Peter Hanson and Miguel Jiminez.. Woods and Stricker are now 6-0 as a team, including in the Presidents Cup.

Woods is playing third as opposed to his normal leadoff or anchor position and continues to remain undefeated with Stricker. Stricker led the way for the duo with four birdies on the back side. The U.S. gained another point in alternate shot as Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson got a 2-up win over brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinan.

A win over Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson gave Europe their first point of the afternoon as Ross Fisher and Padraig Harrington beat the Americans 3-and-2. Jim Furyk and Rickie Fowler birdied the final hole to halve their match with Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer to steal a half-point for the U.S.

Earlier, Jeff Overton and Bubba Watson looked brilliant on the greens and gave the Americans an early lead and their first full point. They scored a 3-and-2 win over Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington. Pavin sent the two out in the anchor of the opening session and the two rookies did their job. .

The morning four-balls finished almost 24 hours behind schedule because of the heavy rains and the Americans held a 2 1/2-1 1/2 lead. In hopes of avoiding the first Monday finish in Ryder Cup history, the teams faced a mismatch of schedules that the officials got together. The lead looks promising for the Americans though. Since the U.S.- Europe format started in 1979, only twice has the team that won the opening session gone on to lose.

The second session was to be followed by the final two alternate shot matches as well as four more four-balls. The third session will most likely have to be finished Sunday morning. Then, officials hope there will be enough time to get in the twelve single matches and more rain is expected according to the forecast. Anymore delays will result in the first-time Monday finish.


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