Tiger's Ryder Cup opening-day woes continueSeptember 28, 2018 Latest news
Tiger Woods doesn't like opening days, the players that excelled in each format, plus all 24 players get a game. Dan Murphy jots down some notes from day 1 at Le Golf National
Tiger fails to register again on the first day
This is Tiger Woods’ seventh Ryder Cup appearance. On five of them, he has failed to register a single point on the opening day.
In 1999, at Brookline, he lost alongside first Tom Lehman and then David Duval with Garcia/Parnevik and Clarke/Westwood the victorious pairs.
In 2002, at The Belfry, Clarke/Bjorn beat him and Paul Azinger, before Westwood/Garcia saw off Calcavecchia and Woods.
In 2004, at Oakland Hills, infamously, he and Phil Mickelson lost twice – to Montgomerie/Harrington and then (again) Clarke/Westwood.
In 2012, at Medinah, he and Steve Stricker lost to Poulter/Rose and then Westwood/Colsaerts.
Now, following the fourballs loss to Fleetwood/Molinari and an afternoon of rest it’s five Ryder Cups without impacting on the first-day scoreboards.
Spieth and Thomas are the fourball kings
It’s all about winning your match in the Ryder Cup, that much is obvious. However, the captains will be into the detail and that will show them that the third match this morning saw the best scoring.
In fact, Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton’s estimated -8 would have beaten every other pair – apart from Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Unfortunately for them, the Americans were -7 for the first 10 holes and -9 overall. Casey posted five birdies in the first 12 holes.
Guardians silenced by 1st-tee razmatazz
The 1st-tee experience has come a long way in a short time. As recently as 2010 at Celtic Manor, the grandstand was a relatively modest structure. At Le Golf National, there is seating for 6,000 fans (if all the corporates show up) and many more standing. There is also a PA system and a DJ. Well, a compere anyway. All of which means that the self-proclaimed Guardians of the Ryder Cup have been neutered, despite their designated prime seating on the front row of the stand.
Garcia and Noren excel in foursomes
This was Europe’s first-ever foursomes clean sweep and every single match was emphatic. In fact, in scoring terms, each of Europe’s four pairs would have beaten any one of the American pairs.
In total, the Europeans were a staggering -4 on what was a gusty Paris afternoon. While the Americans combined for an estimated +11. The hottest scoring came from Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren who were out in 31 (5 under par). When they shook hands with Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson on the 14th green they were still 3 under par.
All 24 players get a taste of the action
It doesn’t always work out this way, especially not with the Europeans, but all 24 players have now got a game under their belts. You might presume that both captains had promised their men as much. Whether they make the same commitment for Saturday is another question entirely.
After Day One, the only two players with two points to their names are Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood. Before today, Molinari had never won a match in the Ryder Cup. Well, he has now.