Cannon/Getty ImagesPhil Mickelson (L) and Keegan Bradley celebrate the U.S. victory.
|U.S. (Phil Mickelson & Keegan Bradley) def. Europe (Rory McIlroy & Graeme McDowell) 2 and 1 |
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MORE MATCH RECAPS: McIlroy-McDowell def. Furyk-Snedeker, 1 up | Mickelson-Bradley def. Donald-Garcia, 4 and 3 | Dufner-Johnson def. Molinari-Westwood, 3 and 2 | Poulter-Rose def. Woods-Stricker, 2 and 1 | Four-ball — Watson-Simpson def. Lawrie-Hanson, 5 and 4 | Mickelson-Bradley def. McIlroy-McDowell, 2 and 1 | Johnson-Kuchar def. Rose-Kaymer, 3 and 2 | Westwood-Colsaerts def. Woods-Stricker, 1 up
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
MEDINAH, Ill. – The American Team of Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley defeated Europe’s Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell 3 and 2 in Friday afternoon’s Four-ball match in the Ryder Cup.
MATCH FLOW: The Americans jumped on world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell early, winning their first three holes with two birdies by Keegan Bradley wrapped around one from Phil Mickelson. It was a continuation of the momentum from the morning when the U.S. duo handed Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald their first-ever losses in Foursomes as the Americans won seven straight holes across the two matches. The Northern Irishmen got one back at the sixth hole but Mickelson birdied the seventh and Bradley the eighth so the lead was back to 4 up. McDowell birdied the ninth and McIlroy the 14th to narrow the gap to 2 down but the Americans hung tough. The signature shot of the match was Mickelson’s 7-iron to 2 feet at the 17th hole that resulted in a conceded birdie, a halved hole and the win – and a jubilant celebration on the green.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Americans won five holes and shot 8 under as a team. The Europeans won three holes and shot 6 under.
TIPPING POINT: It had to be that birdie flurry at the start of the round in this battle of major champions. With the trio of birdies, the Americans quickly established control and never looked back.
NOTES & QUOTES: This is the first time Mickelson, who is playing in his ninth Ryder Cup, has won two matches in a single day.
"Just a solid penetrating iron shot through the air and that baby was all over the flagstick, and I was really glad to see it come down the right yardage. It looked good in the air but until you see it land, you just never know." — Phil Mickelson …
"That last shot just showed why Phil Mickelson is a Hall of Famer." — Keegan Bradley …
“It was a fantastic shot, especially when he had to. We thought a couple of birdies on the last two holes we might pull it off but Phil was obviously thinking otherwise.” – Rory McIlroy …
“Obviously, it was just a high end to this morning and then to try and get ourselves back in the afternoon, just didn’t start as well as we would have liked. But we were trying to claw our way back in, and we played some good stuff on the way in but Phil and Keegan were just too strong this afternoon.” – Rory McIlroy