Sutton shuffles lineup for Saturday's four-balls
As expected, Team USA captain Hal Sutton broke up his "dream team" of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson after the team's top two players lost both of their matches on Friday.
Don Jozwiak, PGA.com Contributor
September 17, 2004
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Captains Hal Sutton and Bernhard Langer turned in their pairings for Saturday morning's four-ball matches one hour after the end of the Friday afternoon foursomes at the 35th Ryder Cup Matches. The pairings sheet showed some familiar combinations, some mixing and matching, and a notable absence.
As expected, Team USA captain Sutton broke up his "dream team" of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson after the team's top two players lost both of their matches on Friday. Woods will play with good friend Chris Riley in the second match of the morning, while Mickelson will sit out the morning matches -- spending even more time not playing on the South Course at Oakland Hills Country Club.
Mickelson has been heavily scrutinized for switching equipment two weeks before the Matches, then not practicing with his teammates on Wednesday and Thursday. He played very erratically on Friday, finishing the day by spraying his drive 40 yards right of the 18th
fairway in a match that was all square.
"We'll all be left scratching our heads on that," Sutton said. "But the most important person that's going to have to wonder about that is going to be Phil Mickelson. It's not going to cause us any grief because he's going to be cheering instead of playing (on Saturday morning)."
Sutton and Langer each kept their most successful duos together for Saturday morning's matches. The first match of the day will feature Chris DiMarco and Jay Haas taking on Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood. DiMarco and Haas provided Team USA's only win on Friday, defeating Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Levet in afternoon foursomes play, 3 and 2. Garcia and Westwood demolished Jim Furyk and David Toms in a Friday four-ball match, 5 and 3.
The second match features a bit of mixing and matching on both sides. The Woods-Riley tandem will take on Darren Clarke and Ian Poulter. Clarke won points playing with Jimenez and Westwood -- including a 1-up win against Woods and Mickelson. Now he'll be paired with Poulter, a Ryder Cup rookie who did not play on Friday.
The third match will pit Jim Furyk and Chad Campbell against Paul Casey and David Howell. Furyk and Campbell each played on losing teams for the Team USA on Friday morning, while Casey and Howell are both Ryder Cup freshmen who sat out on the first day of the Matches. Sutton had originally penciled David Toms into the pairing with Campbell, but then he crossed out Toms' name and added Furyk.
"It was a guess on by part," Sutton admitted.
The final Saturday morning match has Team Europe's hottest pairing -- Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington -- going up against two players who struggled on Friday in Stewart Cink and Davis Love III. Both Cink and Love were among Team USA's top players during practice rounds, but it didn't translate to the course on Friday.
Love had the toughest day of any Team USA player, winning just two of the 30 holes that he played and losing two points. Cink teamed with Riley to salvage half a point in the morning four-balls, then played with Kenny Perry in a 2 and 1 loss during foursomes. The putting stroke that has made Cink the No. 1 putter on the PGA Tour this year has yet to pay dividends on the undulating greens of Oakland Hills.