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Recap: Match 1
Instant analysis: In the most compelling, if not esthetically pleasing, match of the morning session, Kim avoided goat horns when he made a five-foot par saver on the 18th hole to save a half point that appeared as it was headed to the European side of the ledger. Harrington and Karlsson appeared to play more solidly, making four birdies to the United States' two, but they let a 3-up lead with six holes to play wither away with a pair of bogies on the 13th and 14th holes. Mickelson and Kim seized the momentum with their second birdie, a 12-footer from Mickelson following Kim's wedge approach on the par 4. The last three holes were halved, but not without a large measure of drama as both teams made spectacular up-and-downs on the 16th followed by a four footer for a half by Karlsson that did a 180 around the cup before dropping. Then the Ryder rookie Kim, after failing to hit the putting surface from the greenside bunker, made the clutch putt.
Key moments: Europe appeared to be running away with the match when, after a taut front nine, it birdied two of the first three holes on the back, won three straight holes and bolted to a 3-up lead. But Karlsson hit a sketchy approach from inside 100 yards to the 352-yard, par-4 13th that left Harrington with a lengthy birdie putt. It rolled four feet past and Karlsson missed, breathing life into an American team that looked like it was dead in the water.
Player report cards
Mickelson: C. Mickelson, coming off a horrendous 0-4-1 effort in the 2006 Ryder Cup, admitted afterward he played "a little tight.'' It showed in several loose shots, especially approaches. That's not a recipe for success in this event. More than anything else, Mickelson has to relax and play like the world's second-ranked player, something he has not done in the last two ties, where he has scored a scant 1½ points.
Kim: C. Let's give the 23-year-old rookie a hall pass in his first Ryder Cup match. He can perform better and now, after his feet have been dipped into the turbulent and highly pressurized Ryder water, perhaps he will as he headed out with Mickelson again Friday afternoon.
Harrington: B-. The two-time major champion in 2008 did not have his 'A' game but he made enough solid shots and important putts to give his team a chance at victory. He said afterward he would like to improve his driving, but it appears he will be a rock for the European side going forward.
Karlsson: C-. Scrambled well, but it didn't make a dent in this match.
What They Said
Mickelson: "I thought we might have a chance on 17 and 18, but unfortunately we didn't make a birdie. We're very grateful to take a halve having been 3-down with six to go.''
Kim: "It's a very emotional day, and I'm so excited to be playing, and hopefully I can go out this afternoon and play some good golf.''
Harrington: "We missed some short putts on eight and nine and 13, and after that, it was a bit of a struggle.''
Karlsson: "Obviously this is a new challenge (after the United States grabbed a 3-1 lead in the morning.) It's up to us to rise to the occasion and turn it around as soon as possible.''