What were the five most memorable shots from day one of the Ryder Cup which ended with the U.S. leading 5-3?
5. Ian Poulter (bunker shot) – In the foursomes against Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, his explosion shot rolled to the edge and finally dropped for a birdie at No. 11 and a 2-up lead. The best reaction was registered by partner Justin Rose, rooting for the ball to reach the hole.
4. Rory McIlroy (chip in) – In foursomes, after Jim Furyk challenged an inconsequential – no harm, no foul – ruling and Europe lost hole No. 2, McIlroy and Graeme McDowell were steamed. McIlroy answered with a flop shot to a downhill pin at No. 4 for a birdie and celebrated with a roundhouse high-five.
3. Keegan Bradley (clinching putt) – In foursomes, he and Mickelson were probably going to close out Garcia and Donald anyway, but when Bradley drilled his 25-footer at No. 15, it gave the U.S. its first point and handed Garcia/Donald their first loss in five matches as a Ryder Cup duo.
2. Phil Mickelson (7-iron clincher) – His 7-iron to within two feet on the 192-yard 17th hole was conceded and the final shot struck in the afternoon four ball match with Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell. Given the timing, it was even better than Mickelson’s rescue shot five holes earlier, over trees and from far off the fairway to within 10 feet.
1. Bubba Watson (opening tee shot) – Teeing off in the four ball with the crowd in mid-roar was the most memorable opening tee shot in the Ryder Cup since Boo Weekley galloped off the first tee at Valhalla Happy Gilmore-style, showing off his white socks.