The Molinari brothers got a great reception on the first tee (Getty Images)
Deafening cheers on the tee
If yesterday’s noise levels on the first tee were impressive, today they were deafening.
Pumped up by the half point Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell snatched late on against Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar which kept Europe in touch with the USA, the crowds could not wait to send the boys out for the second session foursomes in raucous fashion.
Edoardo and Franceso Molinari were up first, taking on Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan, and having missed the first session fourballs the brothers lapped up the cheers and encouraged the supporters to go louder as cries of ‘Italia’ and ‘There’s only two Molinaris’ rang through the air.
Francesco duly responded by smashing his drive straight up the middle and, normally a reserved character, pumped his arms to the crowd as he began his Ryder Cup career began with a beauty.
Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood received rapturous applause as they arrived to take on Rickie Fowler and Jim Furk, having won their fourball match against Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson earlier in the morning. Westwood picked up where he left off by cutting the fairway in half with a powerful drive, finishing close to Fowler’s effort.
Padraig Harrington and Ross Fisher were another popular pair, although the latter’s drive into the rough on the left was met with subdued cheers. The noise levels were soon peaking again though, when Vice-Captain Sergio Garcia stepped onto the tee for a practice swing.
Next came Peter Hanson, to a loud shout of ‘Give it some Swedish power’ from a Swedish contingent bearing their national flag, alongside Miguel Angel Jiménez, who encouraged the fans with their rendition of ‘Olé, olé, olé, olé’. Hanson obliged his supporters by duly hitting straight and long, unlike Tiger Woods, paired again with Steve Stricker, who went way left.
Luke Donald ripped one down the middle to give him and Ian Poulter a great start against Jeff Overton and Bubba Watson, and then the loudest cheer was saved until last as McIlroy and McDowell strolled onto the tee, looking as though they were loving every minute.