MEDINAH, Ill. – Michael Jordan was out on the course early, rooting for his teammates to give him one more win in Chicago.
Kind of had a familiar feel to it, much to the delight of the fans who lined the fairways Friday at Medinah Country Club.
They were there to cheer the U.S. against Europe in the Ryder Cup. Seeing Jordan, an honorary team member, following the matches from inside the ropes was an added bonus.
''Hey Michael,'' they yelled. ''Come on No. 23, we need you back!''
Jordan took it all in as if he were still playing for the Chicago Bulls, giving an occasional fist bump and acknowledging the crowd as he made his way around Medinah. His first mission, though, was to try to get the home team going, and he cheered loudly for Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker as they tried to mount a comeback in the opening foursomes match against Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.
''It would be nice to win this one to show McIlroy is not invincible,'' Jordan said from behind the 14th green as the Americans made a birdie to remain 2 down in the match. ''But what's really important is to get it at least to the 18th hole because you don't want the guys behind them seeing a loss up on the board early.''
Furyk and Snedeker did manage to get it to the 18th before losing as the U.S. got off to a strong start. The 6-foot-6 Jordan served as team cheerleader all day, bending down at times so fans behind him could see.
Jordan may not play golf as he played basketball, but he's a member at Medinah and has been at every Ryder Cup since 1995. He's an avid golfer who likes to have a wager or two while he plays, a fact not lost on fans.
''Hey, Michael,'' yelled one on the 16th hole. ''How much you got on this hole?''