- Title: USA: GOLF - The USA takes 5.5 to 2.5 lead over Europe in Ryder Cup
- Date: 21st September 2008
- Summary: POST MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN TEAM CAPTAIN NICK FALDO SAYING: "This is a serious event the guys here are keen, both sides are here to win and that's part of the Ryder Cup is that determination that when you're down you never give in, you just play as hard as you can until you run out of holes simple as that and that's, America did a great job today and I'm sure our, my team will rally tomorrow." PRESS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN TEAM MEMBER LEE WESTWOOD SAYING: "I don't mind when they're raising their arms and whooping the crowd up but when it occurs between say the 13th hole, the 12th hole today which we played where Boo holed it from off the back, I still got a putt for halve, there's no need to do it between the shots, at least wait until you're walking up to the green or walking off the green, I'm not bothered about that, but it was interrupting the flow of play when we were trying to play." PRESS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) OFF-CAMERA REPORTER SAYING: "Lee Westwood and a couple of the guys were just in here and he said that he felt that your riling the crowd up in between shots was a little bit over the edge a little bit, I just wonder if you felt that at all and if you heard anything from him about that or anything like that?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMERICAN TEAM MEMBER BOO WEEKLEY SAYING: "Ah well I mean I didn't mean to if I did but you know it's the crowd, you can't control the crowd a little bit but you know at the same time just trying to keep them positive and keep us positive." REPORTERS AT PRESS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMERICAN TEAM CAPTAIN PAUL AZINGER SAYING: "It could have gone either way, we're real happy with where we are but we're not even to the halfway point yet and we know that and we also know how good Europe is so we're just going to get a nice night's rest and go out and play well tomorrow."
- Embargoed: 6th October 2008 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAZ09K026ITIDS3O53XSH2M8WW
- Story Text: The American team holds a rare lead over the Europeans after the first day of play at the 37th Ryder Cup.
A fired-up United States team erased some of their recent Ryder Cup pain by storming ahead by 5.5 points to 2.5 over holders Europe at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday.
Two points clear after the morning's foursomes, the hosts pressed home their advantage late in the afternoon fourballs to tighten their grip amid a flurry of high-fives and fist pumps.
It was the first time the Americans had led after the opening day since Oak Hill in 1995 and their biggest advantage going into day two since The Greenbrier in 1979 when they were ahead by the same margin.
Although Europe clinched their first full point when Britons Ian Poulter and Justin Rose crushed Ben Curtis and Steve Stricker 4&2, Justin Leonard and Hunter Mahan eased past Spaniards Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez 4&3 soon afterwards.
Leonard, making his first Cup appearance since the U.S. last triumphed with a come-from-behind success at Brookline in 1999, chipped in for birdie at the 15th to secure the win.
Phil Mickelson and energised rookie Anthony Kim came from one down after 12 holes to beat Irishman Padraig Harrington and Britain's Graeme McDowell two up after a fluctuating battle.
In the bottom match, Kentucky native JB Holmes and Boo Weekley squandered a one-hole lead playing the last to halve with Britain's Lee Westwood and Dane Soren Hansen.
Both Holmes and Weekley drove into water off the tee, effectively handing the Europeans a half-point on a platter and allowing Westwood to stretch his unbeaten Cup run to 12 matches.
The fiery display by Mickelson and Kim epitomised the American Cup revival as they overcame Harrington and McDowell with a strong finish.
"We played with a lot of heart and emotion," said Mickelson, who rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt at the 17th to put the duo one up.
"It's great for us to get off to a good start because it gets the crowd involved and excited and it gives us energy; we feed off of that. We fought hard and we were able to come back."
The Americans, bidding to end a run of five defeats in the last six matches, had mounted a gritty fightback in the morning to win the opening Cup session for the first time in 17 years.
Leonard and Mahan drew first blood with a 3&2 victory over Britain's Paul Casey and Swede Henrik Stenson after recovering from a bogey-bogey start.
Stewart Cink and Chad Campbell came from one down after 12 holes to scrape past Poulter and rookie Rose one up before Mickelson and Kim halved a tight tussle with three-times major winner Harrington and Swede Robert Karlsson.
In the final match of the morning, European heavyweights Garcia and Westwood fought back from two down with two to play to finish all square with local favourite Kenny Perry and Jim Furyk.
-Saturday morning pairings: Match 1 0805 local (1205 GMT) Stewart Cink and Chad Campbell v Ian Poulter and Justin Rose Match 2 0820 (1220) Justin Leonard and Hunter Mahan v Miguel Angel Jimenez and Graeme McDowell Match 3 0835 (1235) Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim v Henrik Stenson and Oliver Wilson Match 4 0850 (1250) Jim Furyk and Kenny Perry v Padraig Harrington and Robert Karlsson
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None