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Match 1 - Friday Fourballs

Montgomerie/Harrington beat Mickelson/Woods by 2&1

September 17, 2004

Hole 17: Two putts for a par three by Montgomerie hands victory to Europe. Mickelson's tee shot skipped over the back while Woods' found the trap. Europe win 2&1.

Hole 16 -
Mickelson keeps match alive by making 20 foot birdie putt, Montgomerie misses from 12 feet for birdie. Harrington also missed birdie attempt from 22 feet. Woods long birdie putt from 40 feet rushed by. Europe two up with two to play.

Hole 15 - Woods from 118 yards, comes up 25 feet short with his approach but Mickelson hits to eight feet. Harrington also finds the putting surface but a bit further away. Mickelson misses his birdie and Harrington secured the half. They head over to the 16th, three up with three to play.

Hole 14 - Montgomerie, on the narrowest fairway on the course, finds trouble, pushing his second right well wide of the green. Mickelson was right on line with his approach but jumped through the green into the thick rough in a terrible lie. Woods, 149 yards from the pin, hit his second from the first cut of rough but left it short in the heavy rough. Both American facing a tough up and down for par. Harrington, from the middle of the fairway, once again holds the advantage after spinning his approach back to just three feet. In it goes for a brilliant birdie. Langer's men are delivering, going three up with four to play.

Hole 13 - Montgomerie finds the middle of the green, pin high to leave himself a 18 foot birdie putt. Harrington comes up a little short. Woods finds the bunker on the left but Mickelson finds the middle of the green. Harrington's chip hits the hole but jumps out as he makes sure of the three. Mickelson and Woods both make three leaving the stage clear for Montgomerie once more but his putt misses and Europe remain two up.

Hole 12 - Both Europeans in trouble off the tee, Montgomerie in thick rough and Harrington in a fairway bunker, forcing the Irishman to lay up. But the US pair were also in difficulties in the right rough and Mickelson took himself out of the equation when his gamble for the second shot didn't come off. Montgomerie once again delivers the goods with a pitch to two feet and Harrington matches. Woods chips from the edge of the green but it runs past the right side and Harrington converts to take Europe back to two up with six to play.

Hole 11 - Montgomerie finds trouble on the 11th, driving in the rough and his second squirting into the crowd on the right behind a tree. Mickelson goes long with his second. Woods from a fairway bunker, but recovers well to find the front of the green. Harrington hits a sensational approach from thick rough, running it up through the tight corridor that guards the green to eight feet. Harrington in prime position holds the upper hand but leaves his putt short. Both Woods and Mickelson have testing putts for a half but the left hander holes out once again to remain one adrift.

Hole 10 - Solid second from the tenth from the middle of the fairway to the centre of the green, a shot match by Harrington. Montgomerie, after the longest drive, was left with 145 yards to the pin and hit another great approach to six feet. Both Mickelson and Harrington missed their birdies. Montgomerie's birdie shaved the hole but stayed out leaving Mickelson a testing three footer for a half, asking the question of Mickelson for the first time. In it dropped and the Americans remain in touch, just one down.

Hole 9 - Montgomerie finds the right bunker on the tough par three. Harrington, with a four iron in his hand, pulls his tee shot into the back left hand bunker, opening the door to the Americans. Woods finds the green but not close and Mickelson finds the same bunker as Montgomerie. Harrington plays a good recovery to four feet. Mickelson's shot catches a ridge and runs well away from the hole. Montgomerie plays a delicate recovery but, like Mickelson, runs down the ridge some distance from the hole. Woods two putts for his par leaving both Europeans with a chance for half. Montgomerie's attempt misses on the right as does Harrington. Europe hold a slender one hole lead in the titanic top match at the turn.

Hole 8 - Long par four with the second shot up hill. Montgomerie from the middle of the fairway hits his 182 yard approach right on line but just past the hole, leaving him a very fast downhill putt for birdie. Harrington, from the first cut of rough fro, 165 yards finds the middle of the green but has a large hump to negotiate to convert a 30 foot birdie putt. Mickelson, after announcing his arrival in the match with a stunning approach on the previous hole, finds the green but not too close while Woods followed to a similar position to Harrington. None of the players threatening the hole and for the first time. Woods missed but Harrington holes from across the green and Montgomerie and Harrington march to the ninth with a two hole advantage. Europe are up in all four matches.

Hole 7 - Montgomerie has trees to go over on the seventh and finds the right side of the green, leaving him a long birdie putt. Mickelson, from 136 yards, with an eight or nine iron, plays a wonderful shot to be virtually stone dead. A big shot for the Americans by the Masters Champion. Woods is in the fringe and a poor approach by Harrington misses the green left and chip runs a good eight feet past. Montgomerie unable to convert his birdie and Americans pull another hole back to lie one down.

Hole 6 - Americans not taking advantage of the sixth, both Mickelson and Woods hitting their approaches well away from the flag. Harrington, from 99 yards uphill, judges his approach well to leave himself a 12 foot uphill putt for another great opportunity. Montgomerie, after hitting the longest drive, was left just 92 yards to the hole but hits it a bit hard and is left with a 20 foot downhill putt. Montgomerie shows his mettle once again, delicately rolling in the putt for yet another birdie to put the Americans on the back foot once again and neither Woods not Mickelson cold match it. Europe back to two up.

Hole 5 - Montgomerie, in the trees on the left but hits a low draw up towards the front edge. Harrington hit a huge drive into the creek that crosses the fairway and drops under penalty. Both Woods and Mickelson find the fairway and Woods hits a terrific approach, pitching past the hole and spinning it back to four feet. Mickelson follows him to five feet to get the American fans cheering after being effectively silenced in the face of the early European barrage. Neither European can save par to the Americans are on the scoreboard for the first time, pulling Europe back to just one up.

Hole 4 - Harrington is on fire, hitting a 160 yard approach to 15 feet but Woods from 148 yards hits it inside him. Montgomerie from 141 yards pulls up 30 feet short. Mickelson, the last to play pitches next to woods but spins the ball well back. Montgomerie, as he did so often at The De Vere Belfry rattles in his birdie putt, his third birdie in the opening four holes and it was once again all down to Woods. He rises to the occasion and matches the Montgomerie birdie to half the hole. Europe remain two up.

Hole 3 - After Montgomerie found sand, Harrington played a fantastic tee shot on the par three third to just four feet to put the pressure right back on the Americans. Woods hits to 25 feet but Mickelson actually hit the flag before kicking on to about 20 feet in the fringe. Montgomerie recovers to four feet and Woods takes two putts for a three. Mickelson's birdie putt shaved the edge of the hole, leaving Harrington with a four footer to put Europe two up and it disappears into the hole. Three successive birdies to start give Europe the early advantage.

Hole 2 - On the par five second, Montgomerie from 211 yards, plays another brilliant shot dead on line to 15 feet to set up the chance of an eagle three. Harrington matches him, hitting his second to a similar distance. Woods, through the green in two, chips to three or four feet leaving the Europeans with two putts for the hole after Mickelson, in sand with his second could do no better than a five. Both eagle putts narrowly slid by the hole, leaving Woods with a four footer for the half which he duly converts. Europe remain one up.

Hole 1 - Colin Montgomerie got The 35th Ryder Cup underway hitting the opening drive at Oakland Hills but found sand with his first shot. Padraig Harrington was also in the bunker. Tiger Woods got the ball rolling for the Americans but, like Montgomerie, found the right hand bunker. Phil Mickelson's opening drive was finished in the trees. Not a great opening drive from any of the opening fourball. Advantage swung to the Europeans when Montgomerie played a towering bunker shot to about six feet, followed by Harrington to 15 feet and both well inside the Americans. Mickelsons first putt failed to get up the slope and rolled back down the hill to finish still 16 yards away. Harrington made his four, leaving Montgomerie with the chance from six feet to take Europe one up. A brilliant putt found the centre of the cup and Montgomerie takes first blood for the Europeans.

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