Garcia to Sit on Saturday Morning
LOUISVILLE--For the first time since he began playing the Ryder Cup in 1999, Sergio Garcia will sit out a session. Garcia and Lee Westwood, another stalwart of the European team, were not listed by captain Nick Faldo for Saturday morning's foursomes matches.
Garcia and fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez lost to Justin Leonard and Hunter Mahan, 4 and 3, in Friday afternoon's four-balls, only the second loss for Garcia in 18 team matches in five Ryder Cups (8-0-1 in foursomes and 5-2-2 in four-balls). He had played in all five matches in 1999 at Brookline, in 2002 at The Belfry, 2004 at Oakland Hills and 2006 at the K Club. Westwood is 6-2-3 in foursomes and 6-3-2 in four-balls going back to 1997.
"You'll probably see from the pairings a few changes because we need some fresh legs for tomorrow," Faldo said before the pairings were announced. U.S. captain Paul Azinger wasn't about to do any second-guessing in a public forum. "Well, I'm not going to justify why Nick Faldo does what he does," Azinger said. "I'm sure he's confident in the guys he put out there, and the way I look at the teams they put out there, they look pretty strong to me. I'm not going to justify that. I'll let him answer that question."
A look at Saturday morning's foursomes (all times ET):
8:05 a.m.: Stewart Cink-Chad Campbell (U.S.) vs. Ian Poulter-Justin Rose (E). This is a rematch of Friday morning's foursomes, won by Cink and Campbell, 1 up, after Poulter and Rose lost a 3-up lead through seven holes. Poulter and Rose rebounded with a 4-and-2 victory over Steve Stricker and Ben Curtis in Friday afternoon's four-balls.
8:20 a.m.: Justin Leonard-Hunter Mahan (U.S.) vs. Jimenez-Graeme McDowell (E). Leonard and Mahan were horses for Azinger on Friday, beating Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey, 3 and 2, in foursomes and Garcia and Jimenez in four-balls.
8:35 a.m.: Phil Mickelson-Anthony Kim (U.S.) vs. Henrik Stenson-Oliver Wilson (E). Wilson was the only one of the 24 players not to play on Friday, and he gets a tough draw against a Mickelson-Kim team that seemed to jell in a 2-up victory over Padraig Harrington and McDowell in Friday's four-balls.
8:50 a.m.: Jim Furyk-Kenny Perry (U.S.) vs. Harrington-Robert Karlsson (E). You think Perry is eager to atone for Friday? The native Kentuckian missed a makable putt on the 17th hole of Friday's foursomes with Furyk and then popped his tee shot into the water on the 18th, costing the team a victory in a halved match with Garcia and Westwood.
Sitting out Saturday morning: Curtis, Stricker, J.B. Holmes and Boo Weekley for the United States, and Garcia, Westwood, Casey and Soren Hansen for Europe.
*--Mike O'Malley *