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Shane Bacon

What we learned from Day 1 at the Ryder Cup

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The first day of the Ryder Cup is in the books, albeit some very damp pages that will need to lay out to dry. It was a wet one at Celtic Manor, but we still got to see and find out a lot about the Americans and Europeans. Here are, in no particular order, some things we learned on Friday.

-- Tiger Woods is still struggling mightily with his golf swing. All day it seemed that Woods was either yanking his irons left or pushing them right, finding a groove with his swing only with the short irons. The Americans are going to need Tiger to figure something out, but that seems like the old adage we've been preaching all year. We've all hoped his swing would finally be grooved at some point this year, but it just doesn't seem likely. Tiger will have to grind out these matches with his B or C game.

-- Wales is wet. Yes, that is obvious, but this place in October might be too damp for competition. When Colin Montgomerie calls the weather "Seattle on a bad day," you know that isn't good.

-- Ian Poulter was made for match play. He won earlier this year at the Accenture and has continued his great play at this event. Say what you want about the Englishman (and trust me, I have), but the guy is match-play ready, and seems to thrive when he gets in these situations. The announcers were calling him the new-age Sergio, which seems about spot-on when you consider his ability to take out Americans coupled with his continued weird fist pumps and attempts at an intimidation face.

-- Someone said during the telecast about Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton that "these two are just rookies in this event, not rookies on the PGA Tour," and no truer words may have ever been spoken by a golf announcer. They looked as comfortable out there as two rookies could, slapping each other on the butt and laughing when the other would make a birdie. It seemed like two young guys just having fun, and if they can continue this and sneak away with a point for the Americans, this could be a duo to stick together for the rest of the weekend.

-- The Ryder Cup should be commended for making such a snap decision on how to get this whole thing finishing, hopefully, by Sunday evening. While it is going to be different with the matches and pairings, it should be more exciting than normal, and give everyone a chance to be showcased at some point.

-- Is Stewart Cink the 2010 version of Poulter? A captain's pick that came in with a few question marks, only to pulverize his opponents the entire week? Instead of a hot bath after the rainy Friday, some of the players should have just snuggled up around Cink's putter, which seemed to stroke anything it could in the back of the cup. If he keeps this up, he won't even need a partner (and barely had one from Matt Kuchar in the fourball).

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