The Day at the Ryder Cup: Sergio goes full Happy Gilmore

We round up the talking points from the opening day of the 2016 Ryder Cup

The Day at the Ryder Cup – Video of the day:

Well, take your pick from a string of Sergio Garcia celebrations. The Spaniard just loves responding to a hostile American crowd.

In the morning he even gave us a little bit of Happy Gilmore as he asked the crowd if his ball had gone in the hole

 

 

The Day at the Ryder Cup – Talking point: Europe fightback in a day of two halves

It was looking pretty grim at half-time as Darren Clarke’s men were outclassed in the morning foursomes.

But all the putts that dropped in the morning just shaved the hole in the afternoon as Europe finally gained some ‘momentum’ (sorry).

Henrik Stenson took the fight to Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, Rafa Cabrera-Bello added some much needed energy while Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters played with a steely determination.

Latest Ryder Cup images

It was a great shout from Clarke to send Pieters out again after he and Westwood were smashed by Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar in the morning. The skipper was aware that the Belgian played some tidy stuff in his first-ever Ryder Cup match and was unfortunately alongside an out-of-sorts Lee Westwood.

The Day at the Ryder Cup – Shot of the day: Henrik Stenson’s near-ace on the 8th

It’s been 10 years since we last had a hole-in-one at the Ryder Cup (Scott Verplank and Paul Casey at the K Club).

This superb tee shot on the par-3 8th nearly ended that run. It did set up another birdie for Henrik Stenson as the top match began to swing towards Europe.

The Day at the Ryder Cup – Best tantrum: Henrik Stenson

Going for the green in two at the par-5 11th, Stenson wasn’t happy with this effort. He was lucky the club didn’t land on his head

The Day at the Ryder Cup – Clutch putt of the day: Justin Rose

The Englishman didn’t hole anything in the morning or during the front nine of the fourballs. It was the opposite to his performance at Gleneagles two years ago.

With Stenson out of the hole on 11, Spieth tapped in for birdie and left Rose with a four-footer for Europe to maintain their 2up lead. Had this putt not gone it it could have shifted the momentum in favour of the Americans. Rose holed out confidently then holed again at 12 to take Europe 3up.

He then closed out the match with a 12 footer for birdie on 14. Had the putt on 11 not gone in it could have been a different story.

The Day at the Ryder Cup – Player of the day: Patrick Reed/Henrik Stenson

I’m giving the morning to Reed for the way he energised the crowd, played some great golf and holed loads of putts. It helped put Europe’s top pair to the sword and put America in charge.

The day at the ryder cup

In the afternoon Europe needed the Open Champion to step up to the plate and he duly obliged. Not only did it help register Europe’s first point but it handed Reed and Spieth their first defeat as a pair.

Could this Ryder Cup rest on a battle between these two pairings should both captains decide to keep putting them out first?

The Day at the Ryder Cup – Best rookie: Thomas Pieters

There were great debuts from Brooks Koepka and Rafa Cabrera-Bello but after suffering a loss in the morning to Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar, the Belgian was superb as he gained revenge in the afternoon.

Ryder Cup pairings Pieters

He made four birdies at Europe went four up – occasionally playing the hole on his own as McIlroy went AWOL. But McIlroy finished off the match with a stunning eagle.

The Day at the Ryder Cup – Worst player: Martin Kaymer

There wasn’t much joy in the foursomes with Sergio Garcia and he didn’t give Danny Willett a lot of help in the afternoon.

The day at the ryder cup

It took until the 10th hole for him to even register a score in the fourballs and contributed a total of three pars as Europe went down 5&4 to Brandt Snedeker and Koepka.

If the German had featured heavily in Clarke’s plans for Saturday, the captain may be forced into a re-think.

The Day at the Ryder Cup – Worst paring: Martin Kaymer and Danny Willett

One that Clarke got wrong. Kaymer showed no real positive signs in the morning but was maybe used in the afternoon for his experience.

The Day at the ryder cup

It just didn’t seem like a good natural pairing. Perhaps Andy Sullivan, Chris Wood or fellow Sheffielder Matt Fitzpatrick might have brought a bit more energy for Willett to feed off.

The Day at the Ryder Cup – Who didn’t get the outfit memo?: Thomas Pieters

The day at the ryder cup

The Day at the Ryder Cup – Best commentator comment: Colin Montogomerie on Phil Mickelson

“I can’t believe anyone who drives the ball as badly as this guy has been picked to play foursomes.”

Monty did have a point after a typically erratic display off the tee. But Mickelson proved his worth as he and Fowler hunted down McIlroy and Sullivan to secure a morning whitewash for Team USA.

The Day at the Ryder Cup – Best tweet: Matthew Pinsent 

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