Kinnard/Getty ImagesRyder Cup rookie Nicolas Colsaerts (R) was on fire as he and Lee Westwood eeked out a point.
|Europe (Lee Westwood & Nicolas Colsaerts) def. U.S. (Tiger Woods & Steve Stricker) 1 up |
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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 European Team of Nicolas Colsaerts and Lee Westwood defeated Americans Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker 1 up in Friday afternoon’s Ryder Cup Four-ball match to avert a U.S. sweep.
MATCH FLOW: Woods and Stricker had struggled so much in the morning Foursomes that many expected U.S. Captain Davis Love III would sit them in the afternoon. Instead, he put them out against world No. 4 Lee Westwood and Nicolas Colsaerts, the only player from Belgium ever to play in the Ryder Cup. Turns out the big-hitting rookie wasn’t intimidated and has a deft touch with the putter. After Woods, who talked with swing coach Sean Foley during the 30-minute break between matches, got untracked with a birdie at the first hole, Colsaerts went to work, halving No. 2 with a birdie, squaring the match with another at the third and giving the Europeans the lead they would never relinquish with a birdie at No. 9 and an eagle at the 10th. Twice over the next five holes Woods cut the deficit to 1 down but Colsaerts answered with birdies to push the lead back to 2 up. Woods then drained a 20-footer at No. 16 to win the hole and go to the 17th 1 down. With Stricker in the water on the par 3, Woods hit his tee shot to 3 feet. But Colsaerts calmly drained a 20-footer for what turned out to be a halve to assure Europe of at least a half point. Woods had a birdie putt at the 18th from about 15 feet but it stubbornly refused to fall.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Americans won four holes and shot 9 under as a team with seven birdies coming from Woods. Colsaerts did them one better on his own ball as he made eight birdies and an eagle. The Europeans won five holes.
NOTES & QUOTES: "It was incredible. I had the best seat in the house for the whole thing. I don’t know what he did this morning that set him off, but I’ve got to find it tomorrow." — Lee Westwood …
"You just can’t predict those things. I told Lee when we got to the 18th tee that it was my first uncontrolled reaction, which I guess everybody witnessed. But yeah, this is what this tournament is about, when you make stuff like I did on 17. Everything comes out of your veins and eyes, and it’s pretty special." — Nicolas Colsaerts …
"It’s a massive point. If we would have lost the day three and a half to a half, it would have been difficult to come back. We’ve still got our backs against the wall, but two down after the first day, it could have been worse." — Lee Westwood …
"I didn’t play very good this morning at all. I was hitting it awful and not doing anything well. But I hit it good this afternoon. I drove it great this afternoon and was in position, but we ran into a guy who just made absolutely everything." — Tiger Woods …
"We’ve got a two-point lead after the first day, so off to a good start. We didn’t contribute anything today, but we’ve got a couple more days yet so we can’t hang our heads and keep fighting and the rest of the team played great." — Steve Stricker