Ryder Cup 2008: The Americans Actually Stand a Chance

September 19, 2008 – 1:14 pm by TheRiot

Well, the Ryder Cup began this morning bright and early at 8 a.m. at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. The big news is we were actually awake to see the first groups go off. Amazing, really.

Here is your update as the morning session ends and afternoon session begins with the Americans leading 3-1:

- The match between Phil Mickelson/Anthony Kim and Padraig Harrington/Robert Karlsson was fantastic. At one point Mickelson/Kim were three holes down with six to play and ended up salvaging a half point. A birdie on No. 18 would’ve given the Americans a full point, but Kim failed to get up and out of the bunker, leaving a chip for Mickelson and a 5-foot par putt for Kim to secure the half point. All things considered, it was a good half for the Americans.

Mickelson and Kim will play together again in the afternoon, this time against Harrington and Graeme McDowell.

- Hunter Mahan/Justin Leonard rallied from an awful start to beat Henrik Stenson/Paul Casey. Mahan/Leonard started the round bogey-bogey and didn’t look very good. Then Mahan tightened things up and made some specatcular shots to eventually win 3-and-2. The win is the first in Leonard’s Ryder Cup career. These two will stay together in the afternoon and play against Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

- Chad Campbell/Stewart Cink kind of flew under the radar with all the ESPN love for Mickelson/Kim and Kenny Perry. They did however, beat Ian Poulter/Justin Rose 1-up after the Euros three-putted the 18th. The European team appeared able to capture the momentum and put this match away after leading by as much as three holes. Poulter, a captain’s pick, didn’t play particularly well. Neither did the other European captain’s pick Paul Casey for that matter. It’ll be interesting to see how Nick Faldo answers those questions.

- Hometown favorite and Rumors and Rants pariah Kenny Perry/Jim Furyk really let their match get away against Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia. Perry/Furyk had a chance to close the match out on the 16th hole then ended up having to concede a halved match on the 18th after Perry put his drive in the water. They got something out of the match, but it has to leave a bad taste in their mouths. They should’ve won. Period.

But anyway, Team America is up early as the afternoon four-ball session gets under way. GO AMERICA!

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