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Recap: Match 7
Instant analysis: Garcia and Jimenez ran into the buzz saw that was the team of Leonard and Mahan, who gathered a tsunami of momentum with a 3 and 2 victory in the alternate shot format Friday morning and rode it to a convincing 4 and 3 victory in best ball. It marked the first time an American team scored two points on the first day since Corey Pavin and Lanny Wadkins did it at The Belfry in 1993. The Americans made nine birdies (Leonard, five, and Mahan 4) and no bogies in 15 holes. Mahan set the tone with a 25-footer on the first hole and a 20-footer on the second. Leonard came within inches of an ace on the par-3 third and then dropped a 25-foot birdie on the fourth. The exclamation point belonged to Leonard who chipped in for the clinching birdie from 30 feet on the 15th.
Key moments: The European had cut an early 2-up lead to one with Jimenez's 25-foot birdie putt on the par-3 11th when Leonard stole back the momentum with a picture-perfect birdie on the 464-yard, par-4 12th. Three holes and two more American birdies later the match was in the books.
Player report cards
Leonard: A+. He was sharp as a shard of glass, doing all that is necessary to keep an opponent off balance in fourball match play. He was rarely out of play, giving Mahan the opportunity to freewheel. Hard to imagine Azinger breaking up this dynamic duo Saturday.
Mahan: A+. Justified Azinger's captain's selection with spectacular play in the afternoon. His opening pair of long-range birdies announced loudly that this team meant business. He is sure to enter Saturday's matches with an incredible amount of confidence as the United States, especially in knocking off Garcia, who entered the match with a 13-1-2 Ryder Cup record in two-man matches,
Garcia: D. Never seemed to get into rhythm in the afternoon after he had to hurry to the first tee after he and Lee Westwood halved the morning session. Hit several sloppy shots at key moments, a fact that certainly was uncharacteristic of this European stalwart. One bad round with only one birdie, however, does not a bad Ryder Cup make. Hard to count him out.
Jimenez: C. Would have been a nice compliment to the Garcia of Ryder Cups past, making four birdies. But his effort paled in comparison to the American's shot-making and putting. It will be interesting to see how Faldo uses the Spaniard on Saturday.