Ryder Cup predictions: Day 2 morning fourballs

By Jason Sobel, Rex HoggardSeptember 26, 2014, 7:10 pm

Day 1 of the 40th Ryder Cup is in the books. While the Americans got off to a hot start, the Europeans came storming back in afternoon foursomes to take a 5-3 lead at day's end. So where do we go from here? GolfChannel.com writers try their hand at predicting the morning session of Day 2.


Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson (Europe) def. Bubba Watson-Matt Kuchar (U.S.), 4 and 3.

The line: They say form is fleeting, but it’s hard to believe it leaves the undefeated team of Rose and Stenson overnight. Have Bubba and Kuch ever even played a friendly match as teammates? Seems like the captain is grasping at something that isn’t there.

Jim Furyk-Hunter Mahan (U.S.) def. Jamie Donaldson-Lee Westwood (Europe), 1 up.

The line: Yeah, I know. Furyk owns a 1-8-1 career fourballs record and nobody who bleeds red, white and blue wants him in the lineup. For whatever reason, though, I think that motivates him to – finally – a big win. Let’s just say he’s long overdue.

Patrick Reed-Jordan Spieth (U.S.) def. Thomas Bjorn-Martin Kaymer (Europe), 3 and 2.

The line: Expect Reed and Spieth to approach the first tee with steam coming out of their ears. They weren’t happy about being benched after winning Friday morning, but the young duo will take it out on their European opponents rather than their captain.

Rory McIlroy-Ian Poulter (Europe) def. Jimmy Walker-Rickie Fowler (U.S.), 3 and 2.

The line: Poulter needs to play second fiddle. He’s not as comfortable in the role of top dog, as he was with Stephen Gallacher on Friday. He needs to play with a better player, then almost show off, as if he’s trying to prove he can hang. He will in this one. 


Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson (Europe) def. Bubba Watson-Matt Kuchar (U.S.), 2 and 1.

The line: The European tandem rolled to a perfect 2-0 mark on Friday, including a 5-and-4 rout of Watson and Webb Simpson. This may turn out to be the continent’s best lineup.

Jamie Donaldson-Lee Westwood (Europe) def. Jim Furyk-Hunter Mahan (U.S.), 1 up.

The line: This will be another close match that is likely decided on the closing hole and those types of bouts have not gone America’s way the last few matches.

Patrick Reed-Jordan Spieth (U.S.) def. Thomas Bjorn-Martin Kaymer (Europe), 3 and 2.

The line: Neither Kaymer nor Bjorn were sharp on Day 1 and the rookie tandem was nearly unstoppable on their way to an opening 5-and-4 victory.

Jimmy Walker-Rickie Fowler (U.S.) def. Rory McIlroy-Ian Poulter (Europe), 1 up.

The line: The young Americans go to the 18th hole to decide a match again, and as hard as McIlroy tries he can’t carry Poulter, who struggled mightily during his Friday fourball match.


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OB tee shot, bunker trouble dooms Rahm to MC

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:24 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The key to surviving Carnoustie is avoiding the bunkers.

Jon Rahm found three bunkers to close out the front nine Friday, the start of a triple bogey-double-bogey run that led to a second-round 78 and missed cut at The Open.

“All of them were as bad a lie as they could have been,” he said. “Besides that, things didn’t happen. I can’t give an explanation, really. I don’t know.”

Rahm’s troubles started on the seventh hole, a par 4 with a steady left-to-right wind. Out of bounds loomed left, and Rahm, who primarily plays a cut shot, hadn’t missed left all week. This time, his ball didn’t curve, and the OB tee shot led to a triple.

“Whenever I start missing shots to the left,” he said, “it’s really hard for me to play.”  

After a career-best fourth-place finish at the Masters, Rahm has now missed the cut in consecutive majors.

“Right now I’m not in any mental state to think about what happened, to be honest,” he said.

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Three of world's top 5 MC; not 60-year-old Langer

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 7:04 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three of the top five players in the world missed the cut at The Open.

Bernhard Langer did not.

The 60-year-old, who is in the field via his victory in last year’s Senior Open Championship, shot even-par 71 on Friday. At 2 over through 36 holes, he safely made it under the plus-3 cut line.

"You know, I've played the Masters [this year], made the cut. I'm here and made the cut. I think it is an accomplishment," he said. "There's a lot of great players in the field, and I've beaten a lot of very good players that are a lot younger than me."

Langer had three birdies and three bogeys in the second round and said afterwards that he was “fighting myself” with his swing. He’s spent the last few days on the phone with his swing coach, Willy Hoffman, trying to find some comfort.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Despite his score, and his made cut, Langer the perfectionist wasn’t satisfied with the way he went about achieving his results.

"I wasn't happy with my ball-striking. My putting was good, but I was unlucky. I had like four lip-outs, no lip-ins. That part was good. But the ball-striking, I wasn't really comfortable with my swing," he said. "Just, it's always tough trying stuff in the middle of a round."

Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has never won The Open. He does, however, have six top-3 finishes in 30 prior starts.

As for finishing higher than some of the top-ranked players in the world, the World Golf Hall of Famer is taking it in stride.

"I'm not going to look and say, 'Oh, I beat Justin Rose or beat whatever.' But it just shows it's not easy. When some of the top 10 or top 20 in the world don't make the cut, it just shows that the setup is not easy," Langer said. "So I got the better half of the draw maybe, too, right? It wasn't much fun playing in the rain, I guess, this morning for five hours. I had to practice in the rain, but I think once I teed off, we never used umbrellas. So that was a blessing."

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Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

“To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

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Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.