Bradley and Mickelson proved to be the most effective tandem for Team USA on Friday and Saturday. No one could come close to stopping the duo. They took down Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia 4 and 3 in their first foursome match on Friday morning. Bradley and Mickelson then bested Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell 2 and 1 in their Friday afternoon four-ball match.
The biggest win came in their Saturday morning foursome match where Bradley and Mickelson beat Donald and Lee Westwood 7 and 6 to match the Ryder Cup record for most lopsided victory in a 18-hole team match. They sat out the four-ball matches on Saturday afternoon to rest up for Sunday's single matches where they can help the U.S. build on a commanding 10-6 lead.
It seems like a partnership drawn from a Hollywood script. Mickelson is the seasoned Ryder Cup veteran, making his ninth appearance overall. Bradley is the energetic rookie playing in his Cup debut. The pair have exhibited fantastic chemistry. And the results showed it. At one point on Friday, they won seven straight holes.
Mickelsen has fed off Bradley's relentless energy to raise his level of play over the past two days. Bradley has shown his finest form on the course since winning the 2011 PGA Championship. He has nailed long drives to set up short putts for Mickelson. He has dazzled the crowd at Medinah with his own long putts -- like the 20 foot birdie on Friday that clinched the first match victory over Donald and Garcia. It is safe to say Bradley is becoming a star in his own right.
This is certainly the most formidable cup pairing on the American side in recent memory. Bradley's 3-0 record in his matches is the best showing for a rookie since Mickelson posted the same record himself in 1995. For Mickelson, it is the first time he has won both matches on the opening day of the Ryder Cup in his career. It is also the first time he has won consecutive Cup matches since 1999.
Things should only get more interesting on Sunday. The singles pairings have Bradley facing McIlroy, the current no. 1 golfer in the world. Mickelson will take on Justin Rose, a golfer who has had an up and down two days, but has still made some impressive putts.
The U.S. team is in great position to take home the Ryder Cup. Bradley and Mickelson deserve every ounce of credit for getting their teammates to this point.
John Coon enjoys getting in a round from time to time in the Salt Lake City area when he is not covering golf as a freelance sports reporter.
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