LOUISVILLE, Ky. ' Nick Faldos stunning decision to sit Sergio Garcia for the Saturday morning session makes this Ryder Cup leaves you wondering. Are Faldo and Garcia on good terms? Is Sergio struggling that badly? Does Faldo know something we dont? Is he prepared to take even more heat than he already has? Down three and sitting Sergios like being down 15 and sitting Kobe. Who knows, sometimes radical moves work. For Nicks sake, this one had better. 2004 captain Hal Sutton told me tonight that the difference for the U.S. is their individuality. Guys like Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan, and Boo Weekley and J.B. Homes, he told me, dont conform and in the case of Weekley and Holmes use one-of-a-kind swings. Suttons convinced they believe in themselves.
Day 1 MVP for the U.S. was the Leonard/Mahan team. Leonard was clear of mind and purpose when I interviewed him two weeks ago in St. Louis. He said in his previous two Cups, in 97 and 99, he was uptight; he put too much pressure on himself. This time, after nine years away, he said hed be sure to savor the week, to relax and enjoy the ride.
Best moment of Day 1 was Boos reaction after the putt at 12. Pressed afterwards to respond to the possibility that his antics were riling the Europeans, Boo said, I dont really care.
Phil Mickelson was strong and looked to be energized by Kim.
In terms of imperviousness to pressure, Padraig Harringtons nearest to Tiger Woods right now.
Day 1, when its like this, is as good as Sunday at the Masters. Its like the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament. You gorge on it for 12 hours until youre stuffed. I cant wait to load up again on Day 2!
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