Ryder Cup: Europe gains control on rainy day

Reuters
Oct 01, 2010 at 03:54pm IST

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Newport, Wales: Europe had established early control in Friday morning's opening fourball matches at the Ryder Cup when play was suspended due to unplayable conditions at a waterlogged Celtic Manor Resort.

With heavier rain expected to sweep across the Twenty Ten course later in the day, there was little chance of the afternoon's foursomes matches being completed.

Europe led holders the United States in three of the four encounters out on the course when play was halted with large pools of water forming on the fairways and greens.

Ryder Cup: Europe gains control on rain-hit day

Europe led holders the United States in three of the four encounters out on the course when play was halted.

It was the first suspension of play at the Ryder Cup since the 1997 edition at Valderrama, Spain.

"He (rules official John Paramor) gave us the option to suspend play," European captain Colin Montgomerie said. "It's very unfortunate.

"That puts us in a horrible position of not being able to complete today's matches but hopefully we can make up the time. It's been a super start for Europe and I just hope we can maintain this momentum when the weather breaks."

The pace of play was tediously slow as the greenkeeping staff struggled to squeegee every green before the players putted out.

British world number three Lee Westwood and US PGA champion Martin Kaymer were two up on Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson in the top match after five holes.

Northern Irishmen Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell were one up on Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar after four while Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker trailed Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher by one hole after three.

In the bottom match, US rookies Jeff Overton and Bubba Watson were two up on Britain's Luke Donald and Irishman Padraig Harrington after two holes.

The 38th Ryder Cup began in pouring rain and driving wind with huge galleries packed around the first tee chanting their support for both teams.

Westwood recorded the first birdie of the session when he knocked in a six-footer at the par-five second to put the Europeans one up. Mickelson and Johnson each then bogeyed the par-four fourth.

In the second match, McDowell won the opening hole for Europe with a two-putt par before 2009 British Open champion Cink rolled in a 40-foot birdie effort at the third.

However, the Europeans regained a one-up advantage when the Americans failed to par the fourth.

Englishman Fisher, one of six rookies in the home team, gave Europe another early advantage with a winning par at the first but world number one Woods responded with a four-foot birdie putt at the second.

Poulter, who had whipped up the European fans into a frenzy on the first tee, then rolled in a 30-footer to birdie the third and regain control.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the first session was the hot early form by US rookies Overton and Watson in the bottom match.

Overton sank a 40-foot birdie putt from a hollow behind the first green to put the Americans one up before Watson doubled their advantage with a five-footer for birdie at the second.

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