Dave's diary: Day 2
Our man at the course, Dave Tindall, with his blog from day two of the Ryder Cup in Medinah
Last Updated: September 30, 2012 3:58am
2000: Great excitement there as a bunch of journalists gathered for the Sunday singles pairings sheets. About 20 came off the photocopier and I'm proud to say I knocked a few people out of the way and even ripped one from a colleague's hand to secure one of them. The lengths I go to. A dash back to the desk and I'd like to believe that I was one of the first to knock them out onto Twitter.
I've just run down the list, taken a fairly pro European stance and checked the final outcome. I have the Euros winning six and halving two. Unfortunately that still only gives them 13 points when they need 14 to retain and 14.5 to win.
So to get Europe forcing a tie I'd have to award victory to Francesco Molinari over Tiger in the final match. Hmmm.
Anyway, at least Europe have a glimmer and hopefully this could still turn into an epic match on Sunday.
1910: The dust still settling on that incredible performance by Poulter. Five closing birdies to ensure a 1up win. What guts. What fight. He was a bit of a Ryder Cup legend before this but now it's gone up several notches. A stark reminder of what Europe has to do though (win eight of the 12 matches just to retain the trophy) is reflected in the odds. Sky Bet have the US as 1/10 to win the Ryder Cup, with Europe 8/1 outsiders to pull off a miracle comeback.
1900: The Reverend Jesse Jackson has just come into the media tent.
1840: Now to 18 and Dufner birdies, leaving Poulter to pull off one last miracle. He has about 12 feet and, incredibly, amazingly, he knocks it in for a fifth straight birdie. Europe win the match 1up and he keeps their hopes alive. The US will go into Sunday's singles with a 10-6 lead.
1830: Sergio misses his birdie and Stricker has an eight footer for the half. But, no, he misses too and Garcia and Donald give Europe a much needed point. It means Tiger and Stricker have lost all three of their matches despite Woods making five birdies on the back nine. USA 10 Europe 5.
1820: Definite cries of "get in the bunker" on Sergio's approach to 18.
1815: Poulter gets those eyes bulging again. He holes a breaking 15 footer for a winning birdie on 16 and he and McIlroy have come from 2 down after 12 to 1up after 16. Poults has now made three birdies on the spin.
1810: Magic stuff on 17. Tiger shouts "gimme some, gimme some" as his ball sails over the water and to within four feet of the hole. Sergio hits a fine shot too but Luke, amazingly, puts his inside Tiger's. Woods and Donald both trade birdies so Europe stay 1up.
1750: Gulp. USA go 10-4 up as Dustin Johnson wins 17 with a big putt and the unlucky Nicolas Colsaerts can't find a reply at 18 after his approach catches the lip again when spinning back. Over two days the Belgian has had virtually no help from his fourball partners. Westwood yesterday and Lawrie today made just one birdie between them.
1735: Didn't hear it myself but apparently one spectator shouted "f**k you Seve" earlier. No real comment needed really. We shouldn't judge the crowd on one despicable idiot though.
1730: US journalist Jason Sobel tweets: "NBC comes back from commercial with Team USA montage to song lyrics: 'We don't even have to try/It's always a good time.' Presumptuous?" Sure is!
1705: Justin Rose staying optimistic: "Right now, you look at the board and it's bleak but I think if we get some momentum going our way, it could unnerve the whole place."
1700: Finally caved in and had my first cookie of the week. Must be feeling down about Europe's poor show.
1645: Nicolas Colsaerts appears to be trying to set a new world record for 360 degree lip outs in one round. He has yet another at 13 which denies him an eagle.
1630: Another poll result from a survey I set on Skysports. What has cost Europe most? Viewers said: 41% bad putting, 26% big names poor, 23% US just inspired, 10% bad pairings.
1610: Webb Simpson is the star of the show at the moment. He's just poured in his seventh birdie of the day to take him and Bubba 4up on Rose and Molinari.
1600: More on Molinari. His brother, Edoardo, tweets: "Why does it happen always and only when the Ryder Cup is played in the USA? #hecklingisashame #keepitfair"
1550: Francesco Molinari getting very pumped up here. Must be some Italian-Americans in the crowd pulling for him a bit although, at the moment, he's giving them the quieten down sign with his hand.
1525: Donald and Garcia now 3up on Woods and Stricker. Just did a poll on Skysports and 46% reckon Tiger will end this Ryder Cup with zero points. Harsh! He's got a great singles record (four wins, one loss, one half) so history suggests he'll come good in the singles. If he doesn't and the US go on to win by a big margin, he'll have that strange feeling of emptiness that Fernando Torres must have felt after Spain won the 2010 World Cup final.
1505: It's so hot outside, it's easy to think it's summer. However, coming out of the media canteen a load of autumn brown leaves floated down on me and the floor is covered in them.
1440: As if to prove that the Americans are making everything, Rose hits his tee-shot at eight to concession range but Europe don't win the hole as Webb Simpson just casually knocks in his 12 footer. That keeps the US 2up.
1430: Boiling hot weather outside. Lots of people taking a nap in the grass. Glad I bought the suncream.
1400: As Tiger and Stricker go 3down after 4, I speculated on Twitter about getting odds on the Americans winning by nine points with Tiger losing all his matches. One fellow punter, @nicspicks, says if you'd placed that bet pre-tournament you'd have got 4,000/1!!!
1335: Good understanding of the media from Jim Furyk. He comes into the media center and is asked: "Jim, is Rory the marked man you thought he would be when you said that a few weeks ago?" Furyk: "I'm pretty sure if you review the tape I did not say that. What I said was that in the FedEx Cup, he was the marked man because he was No.1 in points." Question: "You understand that's what made it such a great story, though?" Furyk: "Well, yeah, and I'm pretty sure the writer will say, 'well, I didn't do the headline, so don't blame me.'"
1315: Davis Love has done a lot right but why does he persist with this Woods/Stricker partnership? They've lost 4 in a row together now across Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup and are 1down to Garcia and Donald already.
1310: Manchester United fan McDowell says Europe got a "Fergie-style roasting" from Olazabal in the team room last night.
1300: Graeme McDowell says in interview: "It's absolutely still alive, there's no doubt about it. We've got to play great but we can absolutely come back from here. We need a big afternoon; 3-1 is what we need this afternoon."
1245: Colsaerts was the hero yesterday. Today he felt like the villain after ending hopes of a late European turnaround. Just moments after Sergio had chipped in at 16, the Belgian put his tee-shot into water at 17 and the Euros lost the hole and the match. He said: "It's very, very painful. It's just one of those matches where you need a few Ryder Cups under your belt."1230: Two matches have gone to the last today which is handy as the press vantage point up high on 18 is just a five-minute walk from the media center. So after watching Rory and Snedeker tee off on TV I dashed there to see Furyk and McDowell hit their seconds. Furyk's, from sand, was solid, but McDowell pulled his wedge - totally the wrong time to do it with Europe needing to win the hole to half the match. I had a great view looking down on Rory hitting his putt but it wasn't to be and Snedeker cosied his putt up to the hole to close them out and secure another point. It meant the US won the session 3-1 and now lead 8-4 overall. Sky Bet make them just 1/8 to win the Ryder Cup.
1200: Just been handed some Ian Poulter quotes in which he talks about whipping the crowd up at the first tee, just as Bubba did yesterday and again today. Said Poulter: "Bubba is Bubba. He was pretty special yesterday, we were talking about it, and he was going to do it again today. So why not stand there and enjoy the fun of what it was. My heart rate went from I would say 100 to 180 pretty quickly, but I mean, it was a great buzz for sure."
1140: Great view of the top match finale on 18. A little 'Q' on my press pass allows me into a stand by the green and, surprisingly, there were very few press up there. Watched Bubba hit a great approach and then held my breath as Simpson circled the putt to give the US a half after Rose had missed his lengthy birdie try. Thankfully for Europe he shoved it past and after a big collective groan the crowd went flat and quiet. That cut the US lead to 6-4 but they've now increased it to 7-4 after Colsaerts found water on 17. A big shame that as Sergio had just chipped in on 16 (the hole where he did his closed eyes shot from behind a tree in 1999) and you sensed a big, dramatic turnaround was on the cards.
1110: Lots of European journos in here waving the white flag. And it's hard to disagree.
1050: Rose and Poulter two up with three to play in the top match but the Euros have slipped 2 down in both bottom matches. An 8-4 scoreline beckons at the end of this morning and that would be a bit of a disaster for Europe.
1030: Mickelson: "Historically and mathematically the guys that have played five matches have not done as well in the singles." Fair point.
1020: Mickelson and Bradley smash Westwood and Donald 7&6. The Americans were six-under for the 12 holes they played. Sensational. However, in interview they hint that they won't be playing this afternoon. Seems a pre-meditated decision but, in reality, they've only played 44 holes in their three matches so should still be fresh. To be honest, Bradley could probably play two matches each day for the next 10 days.
1005: Poulter holes another clutch putt as Europe go 2up after 12. Saw a tweet earlier that pretty much hits the nail on the head for many folk. @IanJamesPoulter is an arrogant opinionated pain in the arse. AND THIS WEEK I F***ING LOVE HIM!!! #rydercup
0945: Just a bit of light at the end of the tunnel for Europe now. Rose and Poulter have gone 1up in the top match and just maintained their lead thanks to a clutch putt from IJP. Big celebration from Poulter after that one and the other Europeans need some of his energy. The bottom two matches are now just 1up to the American pairs so there's potential to bag points in those two. Forget about the imperious Mickelson and Bradley though. They're 6up on poor old Westwood and Donald.
0910: This is looking dreadful for Europe. Have just checked to see the biggest US winning margins of recent years. They won by 16.5-11.5 at Valhalla four years ago while there was a 17-11 rout at The Greenbrier in 1979.
0850: An hour and a half gone and since Europe won the very first hole of the top match, they haven't won another! Am starting to fear this could turn into a rout.
0822: And now it's a totally red scoreboard as Simpson and Watson make a birdie at the par five fifth.
0820: Lee Westwood has finally made a 10 footer but it's only to half the hole against the seemingly unstoppable duo of Mickelson and Bradley. The Americans are 2up after 5 while the hosts are 1up in the other three.
0815: Not the start Europe wanted. US up in the bottom three games and all square in the top one.
0750: Some magic going on in the skies today - huge pro-Europe messages being written by stunt planes. So far we've had "Do it for Seve" and "Anyone seen Tiger?" - a reference to the 14-time major winner being dropped for this morning's foursomes. The folk behind it are bookies Paddy Power but how are they doing it? They explain: "Five stunt planes flying wing to wing use a complex computer program allowing the messages to be accurately constructed in a similar manner to how ink jet printers transfer content onto a page." Hopefully it will have the desired effect.
0730: An absolutely brilliant atmosphere on the first tee just then. Even before the gladiators entered the arena, the US and Euros were trading chants - even for Bubba's wife. "Mi-sis-wat-son". Also a cheeky one about the two Americans, Simpson and Watson, having majors and Europe (Rose and Poulter) having none. But what followed was best. Yesterday, Bubba instructed the crowd to cheer during his tee-shot - a complete 180 to the normal tense silence. So what did Poulter do? He asked for the same! As he placed his tee peg in, the crowd started to quiet but Poulter gestured for them to begin shouting and they kept the din up as he blasted his drive away. Classic Poulter, fighting fire with fire and, wouldn't you know it, he then knocked in a birdie putt to put Europe 1up. As the journalists left the big grandstand a few of us speculated how Monty would have responded to noise during his tee-shot!
0630: Took me just seven minutes to get from hotel to media center (yes, that's how it's spelt on the big blue canopy outside) this morning. Another iffy night's sleep though. This six-hour time gap has thrown me. I can do five easily and even eight is preferable. Six is a sort of no-man's land and my body isn't having it. First words I heard at the course - "My god, it's freezing." Slight over-exaggeration. I'll go "chilly".