Ryder Cup

2016 Ryder Cup: Friday Birdies & Bogeys

Who were the winners and losers on Friday at Hazeltine? Let's take a look with Golf Digest's Ryder Cup roundup of birdies and bogeys:


Birdie: American morning

Birdie: American morning
The losing streak, the meltdown at Medinah, the task force, the "best team ever" proclamations: no U.S. team has faced more pressure to perform. Supported by an animated, spirited crowd, the Americans made their presence known out of the gate at Hazeltine National, sweeping the morning session. True, it was just four matches out of the event's 28. Yet given the team's poor foursomes showing at the 2014 Ryder Cup (1-7 in eight matches), it was a haymaker the Europeans didn't see coming. -- Joel Beall

Birdie: Arnie's Aura

Birdie: Arnie's Aura
The last United States sweep in the opening Ryder Cup session was in 1975, when Arnold Palmer was the U.S. captain. Chalk it up to serendipity: Palmer's bag, which sat on Hazeltine's first tee in tribute to his passing, just happened to be from ...1975. Long live The King. -- JB

Birdie: The Hazeltine crowd

Birdie: The Hazeltine crowd
It was a rather simple game plan for the Americans on Friday: Feed off the energy of the decidedly pro-U.S. crowd, and keep that crowd engaged throughout. On that front, particular after a 4-0 morning session, Captain Davis Love III's team executed perfectly. The crowd made every tap-in for par on the U.S. side feel momentous, making it that much more difficult for the Europeans to get comfortable. Then again ... -- Sam Weinman

Bogey: The Hazeltine crowd

As much as the Minnesota gallery was boosting the home team, it occasionally crossed the line into outright rude. It's part of the fabric of the Ryder Cup that every shot makes someone happy, but there's still a way to celebrate the occasional miscue tactfully. It's one thing to be rooting for your team. Quite another to be overtly willing the other team to screw up. -- SW

Birdie: European afternoon charge

The loud chants and resounding energy from the U.S. crowds at Hazeltine in the historic morning session got silenced early in the afternoon by the European side. Three runaway European victories brought the team right back into the Ryder Cup, narrowing the U.S. lead to 5-3 heading into Saturday. Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson got the Euros off with a 5-and-4 win, and Euro stars Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia each led the rookies they were paired with to big victories. Momentum is key to any team event, and the Europeans prevented Friday from getting away from them with a huge four-ball session in enemy territory. -- Stephen Hennessey

Birdie: Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose

When the Europeans needed to reverse the momentum after a U.S. sweep in the morning, Darren Clarke again put Stenson and Rose out in the lead group. The Olympic gold medalist and Open champion won the rematch against the star duo of Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, beating them 5 and 4. Needing a spark after a historically bad morning, Rose and Stenson delivered in a big way to keep their squad in the mix. -- SH

Bogey: Lee Westwood

Making his 10th appearance at the Ryder Cup, the normally-reserved Westwood made waves by questioning Davis Love III's captaincy, Tiger Woods' presence and Bubba Watson's omission in a pre-Ryder Cup interview. The former No. 1 player in the world did himself no favors on Friday, looking out of sorts in his morning match with fellow captain's pick Thomas Pieters. After getting steamrolled 5 and 4, Westwood sat out the afternoon. -- JB

Birdie: Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker

Subtract their one big week's -- Johnson at St. Andrews in 2015, Walker at Baltusrol this season -- the two have each played only OK this Ryder Cup cycle. And following a shaky start, the pairing was a target on social media. But Johnson and Walker, with six Ryder Cup collective appearances, proved their mettle Friday morning, gathering themselves on the front nine before winning five straight holes to knock out European superstars Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer. They may lack the pizzazz of some of the American players, yet the fortitude and composure of Walker and Johnson will be a much-needed asset this weekend. -- JB

Birdie: Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler

From his infamous 2014 post-Ryder Cup press conference to multiple foot-in-mouth moments this week, Mickelson walked to the first tee with a bullseye the size of the Mall of America on his back. His partner, Fowler, had a season to forget, failing to be competitive at the majors and Olympics and falling from golf's "Big 4" mantle. Through 14 holes, their play was far from pristine, with Mickelson's wild drives continually putting Fowler in dicey positions. Yet the duo made a vigorous charge, tying Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan heading into the par-3 17th. Fowler stuck his approach, while Sullivan found the water, giving the lead -- and ultimately the match -- to the Americans. "Given the buildup over the last couple years, the criticism, the comments, what have you; the pressure was certainly as great or greater than I've ever felt,'' Mickelson said. There's still a ton of golf to play, but after Day 1, the maligned couple answered their critics, and answered with vigor. -- JB

Birdie: Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed

If there was any concern that this pairing might be a one-Cup wonder after their solid play at Gleneagles in 2014, it was quickly dismissed when the young duo, sent off as the first match of the morning, won two of its first three holes to take quick control against Rose and Stenson, en route to a 3-and-2 victory. In turn, they set the tone for the American’s unexpected sweep of foursomes. Reed and Spieth continued to play well in afternoon four-balls -- shooting a collective four under par -- only to fall victims to Rose-Stenson’s blistering play (nine birdies in 14 holes) in losing 5 and 4. Davis Love III’s trust remained in the duo when he announced them as the anchor group in the Saturday morning foursomes pairing. -- Ryan Herrington

Bogey: J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore

Anxious to get into the mix after sitting out the morning session, the duo might have been a little too anxious in their 3-and-2 loss to Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello. Holmes and Moore looked jumpy to start, neither able to make a birdie until the 10th hole. A potential explanation: nerves. Holmes has past Ryder Cup experience, but it was eight years ago. Moore was making his debut just five days after being picked for the team. (It didn’t help that Garcia was up to his usual Ryder Cup heroics, making five birdies on his own ball.) A pair of birdies from Moore on Nos. 14 and 15 will no doubt help him sleep better tonight, but as the only two Americans who didn’t contribute a point on Friday, he and Holmes will be, well, anxious to make amends on Saturday. -- RH