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The Loop

Fleet Street Wrap: Sergio and Rory disappoint

September 26, 2014

The big UK papers mostly left U.S. Captain Tom Watson alone and focused their Ryder Cup day one analysis on Europe's 5-3 lead in spite of great play from expected leaders Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia.

Martin Samuel was the toughest critic, saying captain McGinley "was looking to this duo as standard-bearers. Yet, largely, the standard was poor." Samuel also did not hold back on McIlroy's driving.

McIlroy, buoyed, took out his new prototype driver. The Nike Vapor. So called, one might suspect, because it had been a steaming nuisance all afternoon. And it was again.

The Guardian's Kevin Mitchell also chided the top European pairing's play.

So a day that started in rich expectation then faded to disappointment finished like a feelgood movie. There was early hope in the fourball when García had the gallery buzzing with a bunker shot into the hole to break the stalemate at the 4th. But his recent excellent putting form deserted him on the 7th to let the Americans back in the game, and the struggle swayed like this all the way to the finish line.

James Corrigan took in the odd sight of a McIlroy/Garcia struggling, Ian Poulter really struggling and the strong play of rookies on both sides and wrote:

In truth, McGinley looked a satisfied but slightly baffled Europe captain.

In the morning he had seen Ian Poulter, Mr Ryder Cup himself, hammered by two rookies. Yet thanks to a second win on the day from the hugely impressive duo of Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, as well as victories for the rookies Jamie Donaldson and Victor Dubuisson, in the company of Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell respectively, the home side won only the third of their last 13 sessions to lead after the first day for the first time in eight years. No, the Ryder Cup does not make much sense.

Derek Lawrenson focused on Justin Rose's fine play with partner Henrik Stenson despite a bee sting.

Justin Rose started with a sting and ended with a kiss as he and Henrik Stenson led from the front to put Europe in control after day one at Gleneagles.

Oliver Brown seized on the strong play of Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth as an opportunity to consider Ian Poulter's birdie-less performance. He says Poulter's afternoon bending proved to be "a scalding indignity."

Owen Gibson of the Guardian noted Victor Dubuisson's fine play in the afternoon foursome with Graeme McDowell and reports that Padraig Harrington had to retrieve Dubuisson's putter when the Frenchman left it in an on-course toilet.

The Daily Mail's Carl Markham has a nice run-down with multiple images and video of the post-round press conference where Nick Faldo's comments about Sergio came up.

And finally, Tod Rap documented a run-in with photographers between the Mickelson/Bradley team during the morning play. The headline is a keeper as only The Daily Mail could conjure up:Phil Mickelson loses his rag at on-course cameraman for getting too close to the action on opening morning of Ryder Cup