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Live notes: First day of the Ryder Cup
Match 5: Mickelson-Kim (USA) def. Harrington-McDowell (Europe), 2 up
Match 6: Poulter-Rose (Europe) def. Stricker-Curtis, 3 & 2
Match 7: Leonard-Mahan (USA) def. Garcia-Jimenez (Europe), 4 & 3
Match 8: Holmes-Weekley (USA) and Westwood-Hansen (Europe), halved
Match 1: Mickelson-Kim (USA) and Harrington-Karlsson (Europe), halved | Recap
Match 2: Leonard-Mahan (USA) def. Stenson-Casey (Europe), 3 & 2 | Recap
Match 3: Cink-Campbell (USA) def. Rose-Poulter (Europe), 1-up | Recap
Match 4: Perry-Furyk (USA) and Westwood-Garcia (Europe), halved | Recap
PAIRINGS ARE OUT (8:25 p.m. ET): And there are a couple of stunners on the European side -- neither Sergio Garcia nor Lee Westwood will be playing in the morning. It's the first time either player has been on the sidelines during their Ryder Cup careers. Nick Faldo, as promised, is definitely shaking things up.
|Saturday morning Foursomes|
|NOT PLAYING: Steve Stricker, Ben Curtis, Boo Weekley, J.B. Holmes (USA); Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Soren Hansen, Paul Casey (Europe)|
EXPECT EURO CHANGES (7:55 p.m. ET): The pairings for Friday's morning session haven't been released yet, but European Captain Nick Faldo -- to no one's surprise -- said he will make some changes to his lineup after a disappointing first day.
"We need some fresh legs for tomorrow," Faldo said.
But he insists his team remains confident it can extend its Ryder Cup win streak to four this weekend.
"We are down in points," Faldo said, "but we're up in spirits."
U.S. AFTER DAY 1 (7:40 p.m. ET): Since the format change in 1979 to play two sessions on each of the first two days, the U.S. has led after the first day just five times. That includes Friday's results, with the U.S. taking a three-point lead after the first day at Valhalla.
|U.S. leads after Day 1 (since 1979)|
YEP, A HALVE (7:29 p.m. ET): The final match is over, with J.B. Holmes-Boo Weekley halving their match with Lee Westwood-Soren Hansen. That gives the U.S. a 5-1/2 to 2-1/2 point lead after the first day.
But as our Dave Lagarde pointed out, it could've been much worse had the U.S. sealed the deal in the final match of each session. Weekley-Holmes let a 1-up lead with one hole left slip through their grasp with poor drives on the final hole. Kenny Perry and Jim Furyk were 2 up with two holes left but also stumbled down the stretch.
Had those two pairings held their leads, it would've been 7-1 for the U.S. after the first day.
PERHAPS A HALVE? (7:11 p.m. ET): Leading 1 up, Boo Weekley and J.B. Holmes both found the water on their drives on the 18th hole. Meanwhile, Lee Westwood and Soren Hansen both kept their drives in play. Europe may be able to salvage a half-point and perhaps have a little bit to build on going into Saturday.
HARRINGTON ON KIM (7:08 p.m. ET): Padraig Harrington was asked several times after his round if he thought the level of enthusiasm displayed by Anthony Kim went over the line during the afternoon match in which Kim and Phil Mickelson beat Harrington and McDowell 2 up.
Harrington, ever the gentleman, said no.
"I thought it was nice," Harrington said. "Anthony, young fellow like that, he was enjoying it and it was good to see. You get older, you don't quite get into that, but it was good to see the excitement in him."
"You know, he weats his heart on his sleeve and he showed it today, and it was nice. ... We've pushed the U.S. guys into wanting this very badly, and they have been criticized in the past. But I don't think anybody would be criticizing him so far today."
CURTIS-STRICKER REACT (6:52 p.m. ET): The pairing of Ben Curtis and Steve Stricker didn't produce much magic Friday afternoon. And it may be the last time they play together this week.
"We didn't play well together," said Stricker and the 4 & 2 loss to Ian Poulter-Justin Rose. "You know, one guy would have a good hole and the other guy would have a bad hole and we just didn't give ourselves two looks at birdies any hole, really."
Added Curtis: "We kind of left each other hanging every hole. We never really played well, the two of us, on any given hole."
Not exactly the kind of words that will inspire Paul Azinger to team them back together on Saturday. The morning pairings will be announced no more than an hour after the last putt drops in the final match.
SERGIO MYSTIQUE DISAPPEARING? (6:25 p.m. ET): There will be lots of discussion about Sergio Garcia failing to win either of his two matches Friday and how it may impact the rest of this week. After all, it's the first time in Garcia's Ryder Cup career that he has not won at least one match in either of the first two days of a Ryder Cup.
|Sergio with a partner|
MICKELSON-KIM WIN (6:10 p.m. ET): With two birdies on the last two holes, the duo of Phil Mickelson-Anthony Kim gave the Americans another win this afternoon, beating Padraig Harrington-Graeme McDowell 2-up.
The Mickelson-Kim pairing produced 1-1/2 out of a possible 2 points on Friday. Those 1/1-2 points equals the total that Mickelson has produced in his previous two Ryder Cups combined.
No wonder when asked about Kim, a Ryder Cup rookie, that Mickelson said: "I love playing with this guy."
Kim and Mickelson showed plenty of mettle in both matches, rallying from 3 down in the morning as well as the afternoon.
LEONARD-MAHAN WIN (6:06 p.m. ET): Justin Leonard and Hunter Mahan just closed out their second win of the day, beating Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez 4 & 3. Leonard chipped in from off the green on the 15th hole to win the hole.
POULTER-ROSE WIN (6 p.m. ET): After a disappointing finish in the morning session, the English duo of Justin Rose and Ian Poulter handily beat Ben Curtis and Steve Stricker 3 & 2. It's the Europeans' first full point today.
CURTIS' DAY (5:44 p.m. ET): Ben Curtis has struggled in his Ryder Cup debut. He hasn't produced a birdie all day as he and partner Steve Stricker and 3 down to Ian Poulter and Justin Rose. Curtis just missed a short birdie opportunity on the 16th hole.
But that's the only match the Americans aren't leading. A long Boo Weekley putt on the 12th hole has put him and partner J.B. Holmes 1 up. And Phil Mickelson's long birdie putt on the 17th has him and partner Anthony Kim 1 up with one hole to play. Meanwhile, Justin Leonard and Hunter Mahan are 3 up on Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
BOO'S BIRDS (5:23 p.m. ET): When Boo Weekley sank an 8-foot birdie putt on the 10th hole to lift him and J.B. Holmes back to square with Lee Westwood and Soren Hansen, it brought lots of loud cheers from the approving fans. Among the members of the gallery are a group of Weekley supporters sporting T-Shirts that read "Red, White and Boo." -- Helen Ross
MATCH BEING TIMED (5:17 p.m. ET): NBC just reported that each player in the match between Steve Stricker-Ben Curtis and Ian Poulter-Justin Rose is on the clock and need to speed up their play.
They players were warned on the 10th hole about slow play, and then the captains were informed.
PAR-3 UPDATE (5:04 p.m. ET): In the morning session, the U.S. dominated the par-3 holes, with three pairings each winning three of the four par-3 holes in the matches.
So is the trend continuing in the afternoon Four-Ball session?
Not really. The Europeans are holding their own thus far in the par-3s, winning three par 3s, with the U.S. also winning three par 3s, with halves at the other par-3 holes contested thus far.
FOUR-BALL SESSIONS (4:53 p.m. ET): In case you're wondering how the Four-Ball results have gone in the last few Ryder Cups, here you go. The U.S. hasn't had the edge in Four-Ball sessions since 1995:
|Four-Ball recent results|
FINALLY, A LEAD (4:40 p.m. ET): Thanks to Anthony Kim's birdie putt on the par-3 14th, Kim and partner Phil Mickelson have their first lead of the day. That's after 18 holes in the morning and 14 more in the afternoon.
Kim-Mickelson lead Padraig Harrington -- who has put on a putting clinic in both sessions -- and Graeme McDowell 1 up with four holes left.
GAME ON (4:10 p.m. ET): There appears to be a bit of teeth grinding in the final Four-Ball match. Boo Weekley isn't one for attempting any kind of gamesmanship -- he probably doesn't know what that is -- but Europe's Lee Westwood hasn't been able to hide a bit of pique at Weekley's penchant for waving to the crowd to incite more cheering while Europe is preparing to play a shot. It's happened twice in seven holes and Westwood was staring a hole through Weekley on the fairway at the par-5 seventh hole after the American hit his second shot on the green to set up a 25-foot eagle putt. -- Dave Shedloski
AFTERNOON UPDATE (3:55 p.m. ET): While the U.S. tandem of Justin Leonard and Hunter Mahan continue with the hot hand -- they've held a lead for 17 consecutive holes, going back to the seventh hole of the morning session -- Europe has rebounded nicely since the Fourballs have started.
Right now, Europe is leading the other three matches that Leonard and Mahan aren't playing. The U.S. Ryder Cup rookie pairings (Steve Stricker-Ben Curtis and J.B. Holmes-Boo Weekley) are each 2 down on the front nine.
If the scores hold for the rest of the afternoon, then Europe would have the necessary three points to forge a tie after the first day.
EURO SUPPORTERS (3:45 p.m. ET): Not surprisingly, the huge crowds at Valhalla are overwhelmingly backing the U.S.
But there was still ample support for the Europeans -- and Henrik Stenson said "it felt almost like 50-50 in the sound at one stage. They are doing a good job for us."
Paul Casey, who played with Stenson, had to agree.
"I think I saw five leprechauns and a matador. I saw Monty out there, as well, in a kilt," he said, referring to a life-sized posterboard Colin Montgomerie on fan was carrying.
"No, it was great fun. I didn't know five leprechauns and a matador could be so loud, but it was highly entertaining." -- Helen Ross
U.S. SUCCESS (3:30 p.m. ET): The success of the Americans in foursomes keeps looking better and better as viewed through the prism of history. The modern format of four matches each of Foursomes and Four-Ball was established when Europe was added in 1979.
Before Friday, only one other time had the U.S. scored in each of the four team matches in any session, and that was back with the juggernaut squad of 1981. That occurred in afternoon Foursomes on Day 2 at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England, when America won all four matches. -- Dave Shedloski
THE SERGIO BLEMISH (3:15 p.m. ET): Turns out, it was nearly a win-win situation for both teams as Kenny Perry and Jim Furyk halved their match with Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood.
Garcia still hasn't lost in nine Foursomes matches -- but the Europeans had to par the last two holes to rally from 2 down and halve the match.
"It was always going to be a tough match," Westwood said. "When we saw the draw with Kenny Perry with his home support, and a battler, and Jim, I have played with Jim a lot and he doesn't give anything away.
"So we feel like we almost won that game getting a half out of it."
At the same time, U.S. Captain Paul Azinger knew Perry was disappointed. He missed a par putt at the 17th hole to win the match and then drove it into the water at the 18th hole to give the Europeans the opening for the halve.
"I told him when he got done, ... 'I know you're disappointed, but I tell you, the guy who is unbeaten and untied and you're the first guy to get a blemish on his record, and you may feel down about it right now, but trust me, you're the first guy to putt a blemish on his record, and congratulations for that and you played great all day.' " Azinger said.
"And he did. Kenny Perry had an opportunity, and he did, and I'm sure he'll be down a little bit, but that's golf. We should be proud of Kenny Perry. He was free wheeling and relaxed all day long and I'm really proud of the way he played."
For more on the final match of the morning, click here. -- Helen Ross
HARRINGTON UPDATE (3:10 p.m. ET): Padraig Harrington and his partners have played 26 holes against Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim thus far Friday and have yet to trail at any single point.
After halving his morning match (with partner Robert Karlsson), Harrington and Graeme McDowell are currently 2 up through 8 holes. McDowell is faring well in his Ryder Cup debut -- he has four birdies.
PAIRING LABELS (3 p.m. ET): Let's see, for the afternoon session, you have the Texans (Justin Leonard, Hunter Mahan), the Irishmen (Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell), the Spaniards (Sergio Garcia, Miguel Angel Jimenez) and the Englishmen (Ian Poulter, Justin Rose).
But, much to the chagrin of the hometown crowd, you still don't have the Kentuckians. After playing in the morning session, Kenny Perry is sitting out the afternoon session while J.B. Holmes is paired with Boo Weekley in the final match of the afternoon.
MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME (2:55 p.m. ET): Kenny Perry had waited for the moment all year, and he wasn't disappointed as he stood on the first tee with Jim Furyk in front of thousands of cheering fellow Kentuckians Friday morning.
"I told Jimmy, I said, 'You're going to have to play the first couple holes and let me settle down a little bit,'" Perry admitted. "I was nervous out there. I never felt that way in my whole life, even in team competitions or anything.
"I had all the crowd chanting my name. It was phenomenal. I'm guessing the Euros are kind of getting tired of hearing it. But it was great."
Among the fans were Perry's three children and his father, clad in his trademark overalls.
"I was giving him high fives," Perry said. -- Helen Ross
FALDO QUESTIONS NO. 2 TEE (2:45 p.m ET): European Captain Nick Faldo was scratching his head about the tee at the par-4 second hole, which was move up 55 yards. The hole is playing at 453 yards today; it's 505 on the scorecard.
"There is a strange tee set up on No. 2, very strange that one," Faldo said. "I don't get that one -- they moved that one up a lot."
J.B. Holmes and Phil Mickelson have both bombed drives 370 yards on the hole in the afternoon session.
AZINGER ON 'CHEERING MISSED PUTTS' (2:35 p.m. ET): When U.S. Captain Paul Azinger met with the media between sessions on Friday, he took time to clarify his comments from Thursday night's pep rally when he encouraged the American fans to cheer after missed putts.
Azinger said he didn't mean his comments to be "malicious," but that's what happens when the U.S. plays Ryder Cup matches in Europe. He doesn't think American fans understand that it's OK to cheer when the other team misses if that means the U.S. wins or halves that hole.
"It was kind of an education almost, and enlightening to kind of that's what goes on over there," Azinger said. "If we lose a hole or we miss a putt, they cheer. I don't think the American fans get that part. Golf is, everybody oohs and aahs, but the European fans, they get it. The American fans, they don't, and they are not used to that.
"I was just making sure that if they understood that if we win a hole, they can cheer, and even if somebody misses a putt for us to win a hole. So that's really all that was. And again, I'll reiterate, I think you'll find that so far, the great fans of Kentucky have not done anything to let us down or embarrass us.
"I don't know if you could ever find a more enthusiastic group of fans anywhere in the world than what we had here this morning and they were all properly behaved. So I'm really proud of that fact." -- Helen Ross
CAPTAINS SPEAK (2:32 p.m. ET): As you might imagine, U.S. Captain Paul Azinger was upbeat while Europe Captain Nick Faldo was trying to put a positive spin after the morning session in which the U.S. took a 3-1 lead, preventing the Europeans from winning a single match.
"It's early, but I feel like we're in a pretty good place mentally right now," Azinger said, "and I just want to keep everybody on point."
Said Faldo: "You have to regroup and go on. But everybody is up and we know we're in it now and we will go out there this afternoon and play hard."
NEARLY AN ACE (2:25 p.m. ET): Justin Leonard's ball is sitting on the lip of the cup at the par-3 third hole, a near hole-in-one that would've put the U.S. up 2 in its match against Spaniards Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
CASEY-POULTER REACT (1:55 p.m. ET): Paul Casey and Ian Poulter were 3-up at one point on the front nine in their match against Stewart Cink and Chad Campbell. And they were still 1 up with six holes to play before losing on the 18th hole when the Americans birdied.
"That was a tough loss," Rose said. "We were three up at one point, which makes you feel like you shouldn't be losing the game. But that's the Ryder Cup for you."
Added Poulter: "It's amazing how it can turn around so quickly. You don't do too much wrong, but a bit of luck not going your way and a couple of poor shots and we got punished for it. It's a shame."
RARE WINLESS SESSION (1:30 p.m. ET): For the first time since 1989, the Europeans did not win a single match in any team session, as they had to settle for two halves in Friday morning's Foursomes matches.
The last time that happened came in the Friday morning session at The Belfry when the U.S., as they did today, jumped out to a 3-1 lead.
The U.S. and Europe eventually tied 14-14, with Europe retaining the Ryder Cup.
|Sessions in the last 40 years in which Europe failed to win a match|
MORNING SESSION OVER (1:15 p.m. ET): For the first time in his Ryder Cup career, Sergio Garcia did not win a Foursomes match, although he and partner Lee Westwood rallied in the final two holes to halve their match with Kenny Perry and Jim Furyk.
The brings the morning session to a close, with the U.S. leading 3-1.
Perry and Furyk were on their way to a full point until Perry stumbled down the stretch, missing a 4-foot par putt on the 17th and then driving into the water on the 18th.
Garcia had won all eight of his previous Foursomes matches until Friday.
LOOSEN UP (1:10 p.m. ET): After halving the morning match, Phil Mickelson said he and Anthony Kim need to "play a little freer" against Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell in the afternoon Four-Ball that just started.
"We wanted this so bad that I think we hit some shots that were a little tight," Mickelson said. "We've got to go out today and kind of free-wheel it a little bit, play more relaxed and see if we can make some more birdies."
CINK-CAMPBELL WIN (12:52 p.m. ET): With the Europeans three-putting on the 18th, Chad Campbell and Stewart Cink win the third match 1-up over Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, giving the Americans a 2-1/2 to 1/2 point lead and assuring the U.S. that it will win its first morning session at the Ryder Cup since 1991.
"We didn't play perfect, but we recovered from our mistakes," Cink said.
WHO'S SITTING (12:36 p.m. ET): For the Americans, Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink and Chad Campbell will sit out the afternoon Four-Ball session. For the Europeans, Robert Karlsson, Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey and Oliver Wilson will sit out.
Wilson, the European tour Rookie of the Year in 2005, will be the only player on either side who will not see action on Friday.
OPENING MATCH ENDS (12:20 p.m. ET): The opening match between Phil Mickelson-Anthony Kim and Padraig Harrington-Robert Karlsson was halved after Harrington -- who had made several clutch putts during the match -- just missed a birdie putt on the 18th.
"We're very thankful to take a half, being three down with six (holes) to go," Mickelson said.
The score is now U.S. 1-1/2, Europe 1/2.
AFTERNOON PAIRINGS (12:10 p.m. ET): The pairings for the afternoon Four-Ball session have been announced:
|Friday afternoon Four-Ball pairings|
|Times may be slightly adjusted due to length of morning session|
U.S. LEADS 1-0 (11:57 a.m. ET): Justin Leonard and Hunter Mahan have just knocked off Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey 3 & 2 to give the Americans the early lead. The U.S. leads in two other matches and is all-squared in the other.
It was quite a rebound for Leonard and Mahan, who bogeyed the first two holes . But the two Texans played steady the rest of the way, with Mahan overcoming his early jitters to justify his spot as a Captain's pick.
"I told Hunter I lost the first two holes for us on purpose," Leonard, who won his first Ryder Cup match (he was previously 0-3-5), told NBC.
Added Mahan about the start: "We had a lot of holes left. We knew we could play better than that."
U.S. MOMENTUM (11:40 a.m. ET): Thanks to a birdie putt from Phil Mickelson, the U.S. has squared the opening match. And Kenny Perry's birdie putt (followed by Sergio Garcia's miss) puts the Americans 2-up in the final match of the morning session.
In fact, the Americans have leads in two matches and are all-squared in the other two. Quite a switch from a couple of hours when the Europeans had all the momentum and appeared in control.
The back nine is a lot more confined than the front nine at Valhalla, which is more wide open and more forgiving. The Americans' shot-making ability is paying off as the matches reach the finishing holes.
The last time the U.S. led after the Friday morning matches was in 1991when the Americans won three of the four Foursomes matches. The matches were tied in 1993, '95 and '97.
Here are the morning results since the last time the U.S. led:
|Friday morning results|
LOOKING AHEAD (11:27 a.m. ET): With Paul Azinger saying he wants to play all 12 of his players on the first day, that means Americans Ben Curtis, J.B. Holmes, Steve Stricker and Boo Weekley will be among the eight players in the afternoon Four-ball matches.
Meanwhile, Nick Faldo did not commit to using his four European players who are sitting out the morning session -- Soren Hansen, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Graeme McDowell and Oliver Wilson. Jimenez and McDowell should at least get the call.
TIGHTENING UP (11:20 a.m. ET): At one point, the Europeans had a 3-up lead in one match and a 2-up lead in the other. But now, all four matches are 1-up, with the Europeans leading in two and the Americans in the other two.
Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim have done a nice job to rally in their match against Padraig Harrington and Robert Karlsson. The Americans have the momentum (but not the lead) in that opening match, which has four holes left.
MJ SIGHTING (11:15 a.m. ET): Michael Jordan made an appearance at the Ryder Cup on Friday. The NBA legend, who also followed the U.S. team to Ireland two years ago, was spotted standing behind a picket fence by the 14th tee watching the match between Anthony Kim and Phil Mickelson and Europeans Padriag Harrington and Robert Karlsson. -- Helen Ross
PHIL'S DAY (11:05 a.m. ET): Phil Mickelson is having a weird day.
At the short par-4 13th hole, he had a 15-foot birdie putt to win the hole. As his ball approached the hole, a butterfly dove into the hole while his ball skirted past it. Mickelson peered in to see what had happened to the creature before it vacated the hole.
The U.S. won the hole anyway when Robert Karlsson missed a 5-footer for par. -- Dave Shedloski
JUSTIN'S FIRST? (10:55 a.m. ET): It's hard to believe when you think about that 45-foot birdie putt Justin Leonard made to assure the Americans' come-from-behind victory in 1999, but he has never won a full point in Ryder Cup competition.
The Texan has an 0-3-5 mark in two Ryder Cup appearances -- with two halves coming in Four-balls, one in Foursomes and two in Singles, including that famous one with Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999.
Leonard could be on the way to picking up that first point, though. He and Hunter Mahan are 1 up through 11 holes on Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey Friday morning. -- Helen Ross
OH, THOSE PHOTOGRAPHERS (10:40 a.m. ET): Well, it happens at every Ryder Cup. A photographer with an itchy trigger finger gets overzealous and affects the outcome of a shot.
This time it happened at the par-5 10th hole when Phil Mickelson, chipping from just off the green for the fourth shot in foursomes play with Anthony Kim, nearly bladed the shot when he flinched after a camera went off behind him. Both he and his caddie, Jim McKay, sought out the guilty party. -- Dave Shedloski
USA AND PAR 3s (10:30 a.m. ET): The U.S. has won six of the first seven holes played on the two par 3s on the front nine at Valhalla. Anthony Kim and Phil Mickelson have won both of the par 3s in the match thus far, as have Stewart Cink and Chad Campbell.
Kenny Perry and Jim Furyk, who just birdied the par-5 seventh to take their first lead of the match against Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia, hope to keep the momentum going as they head to the par-3 eighth. The U.S. currently leads in two matches, while Europe has the lead in the other two.
PADDY'S NECK (10:05 a.m. ET): On the ninth hole prior to teeing off, Padraig Harrington had some quick physical therapy on his neck. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Harrington missed a short birdie opportunity that would have won the hole. That first match remains all square.
CHEERING MISSED PUTTS (9:52 a.m. ET): USA Captain Paul Azinger may have raised a few eyebrows at Thursday night's pep rally when he told the pro-American crowd to "cheer missed putts" this week.
At least one newspaper in Great Britain didn't hesitate to jump on the story but officials reportedly were checking to see if the comment was perhaps misinterpreted or made tongue-in-cheek.
EUROPE SURGING (9:40 a.m. ET): The Justin Rose-Ian Poulter combo has heated up, with three straight birdies to go 2-up over Chad Campbell and Stewart Cink. Meanwhile, Padraig Harrington has rolled in some key putts to offset some wayward driving by himself and partner Robert Karlsson in the opening match.
In fact, Europe currently has the lead in three of the four matches, with the other match all-square. Not the kind of start the U.S. and Captain Paul Azinger was hoping for to set the tone this week.
USA FLAG APPEARS (9:25 a.m. ET): It took 80 minutes but the U.S. finally has the lead in one of the matches, thanks to a putt by Justin Leonard to give him and partner Hunter Mahan the lead over Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey. But Europe leads in two of the three other matches.
PEP RALLY (9 a.m. ET): The Ryder Cup may have officially begun at 8:05 a.m. at Valhalla, but you couldn't prove that to the thousands gathered in downtown Louisville for a pep rally Thursday night.
The patriotic fury began early as Kentucky coach Rick Pitino made an appearance, as did a lookalike of Col. Harlan Sanders, of Kentucky Fried Chicken frame. But it was U.S. Captain Paul Azinger who really whipped the crowd into a frenzy -- working the stage with the zeal of a revival preacher.
Around 9:15 p.m., Azinger surprised the crowd by bringing his team out on the stage and introducing each one. Most were clad casually in jeans and "13th Man" t-shirts -- and they threw more of the signature attire to the fans. The U.S. captain encouraged the fans to wear blue on Saturday and red on Sunday to correspond with the U.S. team's color scheme. -- Helen Ross
OFF THE TEE (8:45 a.m. ET): Now that all four groups are on the course, here is how they will hit off the tees in Friday morning's alternate-shot format.
WEATHER UPDATE (8 a.m. ET): Should be perfect conditions throughout the day Friday. Temperatures will reach the mid-80s this afternoon with winds generally east-southeast from 5-10 mph. No precipitation in the forecast, either today or the weekend.