NEWPORT, Wales – Steve Stricker played a strong role in the Americans closing out a 2 ½ to 1 ½ lead after the opening fourballs sessions Saturday morning at Celtic Manor with teammate Tiger Woods struggling in the end.
Stricker and Woods extended their unbeaten record in international team competition to 5-0.
At the final hole, Stricker hit a wedge to 12 feet, leading to a conceded birdie to win the match 2 up against Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher.
It was Stricker’s fourth birdie over the final seven holes after the resumption of play. Woods didn’t make a birdie after play resumed and botched his chance to close out the match at the final hole. After blowing his long approach left of the green, Woods had a delicate pitch that made him look like a high-handicapper. He chunked the pitch, barely advancing it 15 feet and nowhere close to reaching the green.
'That's almost embarrassing,' NBC analyst Johnny Miller said.
Stricker made five birdies overall in the match to Woods’ two. The duo was 4-0 together at the Presidents Cup last fall.
“I think we are very comfortable with each other,” Stricker said. “We enjoy being out there together. Even though he hits it a lot farther, our games are similar. We are good chippers and putters, but the bottom line is we are comfortable together.”