ppa_footer-dswp-logo-stacked-bk-hr-ds PUTT LIKE THE PROFESSIONALS, use Chad Johansen’s Perfect Putting Aid, used by more than one player in this weeks Ryder Cup. Don’t Forget Johansen’s new golf aid, the Guide for Golf. See Chadjohansen.com or visit him at Blackberry Oaks Golf Club in Bristol Illinois. See Blackberryoaks.com sign up for the fall scramble on Oct 9th ______________________________________________________________________


THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears. Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to the Ryder Cup, and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

(Reporting from Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska Minnesota.)

DAY 1 Team USA 5-Team Europe 3.

It was quite a start for team USA, and during the Ryder Cup of recent years, Foursomes have not been the teams strongest suit. That changed today when the USA swept Europe 4-0 in the morning matches.

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed were first out and set the tone with a birdie on the 1st hole. They never looked back in a 3&2 win over Olympic medal winners Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose. The anchor match saw Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar crush Lee Westwood and Thomas Pieters 5&4, a match that was over early.


The first hole area has been buzzing for a few days.

The middle matches looked to be European points most of the day, but Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler who were 1 DN after 15, won holes 16 and 17 for a 1 UP win over Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan.

Then like on cue, Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker won four straight holes on the back nine for a 4&2 win over Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia. the late flips on two matches and a 4-0 sweep had the Hazeltine pro-american crowd buzzing.

“We expected it to be a good morning, but maybe not this good,” said Mickelson. Who added Team USA felt it could win the morning session. If only they could have kept it going. If the USA had an afternoon like the morning went, the Ryder Cup could have been back in USA hands by late on Saturday. It wasn’t to be.

Europe started the afternoon like it started the morning in the Fourball matches. With Reed making a quick birdie on the 1st, and putting team USA 1 UP. But by the 7th hole the match had flipped and Stenson and Rose had revenge with a 3&2 win and Europe had it’s first point.

The USA then regained it’s four-point lead when Brendt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka rolled to a 5&4 win over Martin Kaymer and Danny Willett. Willett the Masters Champion took some heat from the American galleries, still upset over negative comments made this week by Willett’s brother about american golf fans.

The Europe won the last two matches when Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello won 3&2 over J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore, who were both playing their first match of the day.

Then McIlroy rolled in a big putt he said later he knew was going in before he hit it, and celebrated with fist pump and bow to the gallery after he and partner Thomas Pieters defeated Johnson and Kuchar 3&2.

There are some interesting changes for the Saturday morning Foursome matches. Matt Fitzpatrick who spent a short time at Northwestern University will get his first action of the matches for team Europe.

Both captains Europe’s Darren Clarke and Team USA’s Davis Love III, felt very positive about their teams after Day 1.

Click here to hear interviews with Brandt Snedeker, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Thomas Pieters, Darren Clarke and Davis Love III.

Full coverage of the Ryder Cup continues here on Day 2 from Hazeltine National GC.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.