Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bradley brings his best game

Plays brilliantly as U.S. takes Ryder lead

  • Print

Keegan Bradley made Friday at the Ryder Cup feel like the best day of his life, and it wasn't too shabby for the rest of the Americans.

Bradley led a strong performance by rookies on both teams at Medinah by teaming with Phil Mickelson for two wins against Europe's best two partnerships. Even with Tiger Woods getting shutout on opening day for the fourth time, the United States took a big step toward regaining the cup by taking a 5-3 lead.

Leading the way was Bradley, the former PGA champion whom Mickelson took under his wing last year for a series of money games at the majors to prepare the New England kid for moments like this. And did he ever deliver.

"This is literally what I've dreamt about since I was a little kid," Bradley said. "I got to do it next to my idol all day."

Bradley holed a 25-foot birdie putt in morning foursomes to hand Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia their first loss ever in Ryder Cup foursomes. Next up were Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, and the Americans won the first three holes. Mickelson wasn't there only for support. Right when Europe was trying to rally, the four-time major champion closed it out with a 7-iron to 2 feet that was conceded for birdie.

It was a day Bradley didn't want to end.

"Oh, baby, I wish we could go 36 more," Bradley said.

He wasn't the only rookie to shine on a mild day in the Chicago suburbs. Nicolas Colsaerts, the 29-year-old from Belgium, helped Europe avoid getting shutout in afternoon fourballs by single-handedly taking down Woods and Steve Stricker.

Colsaerts made eight birdies and an eagle -- a 10-under 62 if he was keeping score on his own. He teamed with Lee Westwood, who was just along for this amazing ride for a 1-up victory that ended 11 hours of enormous cheers and plenty of American red on the leaderboard.

"I don't think there has ever been a better debut than that," Westwood said.

Woods and Stricker also lost to Ian Poulter and Justin Rose in morning foursomes, making this the fourth time in the seven Ryder Cups that Woods has played that he lost both matches on the opening day.

There was nothing Woods could do against Colsaerts, the biggest hitter in Europe who isn't too bad with the putter, either.

"Nicolas probably had one of the greatest putting rounds I've ever seen," Woods said, high praise coming from a 14-time major champion.

Woods turned in a mixed performance. He missed a 6-foot birdie putt on the 15th to fall 2 down, and then came back with a bending, 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th and a shot into 4 feet on the 17th that looked as if it might square the match. Instead, Colsaerts rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt for a halve. Woods had a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th to halve the match, only it caught the left lip.

"We ran into a guy who made everything today," Woods said. "I don't know what he shot. He was like 7 under through 10. I quit counting after that."

Both captains made sure all 12 of their players got into the game early, though European captain Jose Maria Olazabal set himself up for second-guessing when he sat out Donald, Garcia and Poulter for the afternoon matches. They have a combined 31-13-5 record in the Ryder Cup.

Mickelson set an American record by playing in his ninth Ryder Cup, and he won his opening two matches for the first time Mickelson came up with some big putts and amazing shots, and the 42-year-old felt about 10 years younger playing alongside Bradley.

"It could be the best day of my life," Bradley said.

Europe has won six of the last eight times in the Ryder Cup, and it wasn't about to hang its head after one day.

"There's a long way to go in this tournament," Rose said.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 29, 2012 C5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

City Beautiful trailer: How architecture shaped Winnipeg's DNA

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press January 18, 2011 Local Standup -
  • A group of Horese pose for the camera in the early evening light at Southcreek Stables in Stl Norbert Wednessday. Sept  14, 2011 (RUTH BONNEVILLE) / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the biggest disappointment on the Jets to start the season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google