Pumped-up Garcia Inspires Europe To 5-3 Lead
Steven Franklin, Press Officer
22 September 2006
Another inspired performance from Sergio Garcia, who partnered Luke Donald to a two-hole win over the United States’s top pairing of Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk, helped Europe take a 5-3 lead into the second day of The 2006 Ryder Cup at The K Club, Ireland.
The swashbuckling Spaniard, a comfortable victor in the morning fourballs, and Englishman Donald claimed the only full point for Europe on an afternoon which gave further credence to the belief that the closing three holes on the Palmer Course will prove decisive in the destination of Samuel Ryder’s golden chalice.
Furyk, a model of consistency and unstinting in his support of an out-of-sorts Woods, played his only poor shot of the day at the 18th, a hole the Americans had to win, inexplicably pulling his approach into the water.
Donald and Garcia, the latter having presented his partner with a simple birdie after hitting a majestic approach to two feet at the 17th, went on to win the hole with a par five, continuing a successful foursomes partnership that was forged at Oakland Hills two years ago.
Ironically, it was two men who probably have more knowledge of the potential pitfalls down the stretch who suffered the most.
Dubliners Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley looked to be riding to victory on the wave of huge support from the galleries, only to let slip a two-hole lead over the closing three holes.
Chad Campbell and Zach Johnson, their opponents, deserve great credit as they finished with three birdies but the way that Harrington and McGinley played the par five 18th was a source of great disappointment to themselves and European fans alike.
Harrington’s drive finished on a down slope to a bunker and left McGinley with no other option than to lay up short of the water guarding the green.
McGinley gave his fellow Dubliner the best line into the flag but Harrington ran his approach through the green and almost into the water at the back. With another tricky stance, McGinley played a fine chip to close range and the pair saved par.
However, like JJ Henry in the morning fourballs, fellow rookie Johnson capped a composed performance by holing for birdie to claim a hard-fought half point.
The 18th green was the source of further drama in the other two foursomes matches.
David Toms, playing with Stewart Cink, and England’s David Howell, teamed with Swedish rookie Henrik Stenson, both saw fine putts horseshoe out as the match ended all square.
The point was also shared in the final match, Colin Montgomerie holing a testing six foot putt for a winning birdie after Chris DiMarco had missed a golden par chance.
It left Lee Westwood, Montgomerie’s partner and a wildcard pick, with a return of one and a half points from two games and a Ryder Cup record of 13 from a possible 20.
Meanwhile, the vaunted Mickelson-DiMarco partnership were left with a half from their day’s work.
Sunday Video Recap
Check out all the great highlights from Sunday's European victory. Watch
- 1969: Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus on the final hole of the final day.