McIlroy hits his opening drive into a tangle of TV cables well off the right side of the No. 1 fairway.
Tiger Woods tees off against Italian Francesco Molinari with most viewers still asking the same question they slept on overnight: “What was U.S. captain Davis Love III thinking when he put the once-(and sometimes-still) best golfer on the planet out in the 12th and final match?”
Exactly an hour into the matches, Europe gets its nose in front, leading 4-2, with five matches even.
Donald, who never trailed after the first hole, is already 2 up. Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, who trailed from the start against Zach Johnson, is 3 down. The four Europeans who contributed zero points in the first two days _ German Martin Kaymer and Swede Peter Hanson played only once _ are holding their own. Scot Paul Lawrie is already 2 up en route to the day’s biggest beating, a 5-and-3 win over Brandt Snedeker.
Even Lee Westwood, whose meager contributions in team matches left him looking on occasion like he would hide in the trees, is more than a match for Matt Kuchar.
The same galleries that screamed themselves hoarse Friday and Saturday as the Americans rolled out to that big lead are doing a lot of nervous whispering.
Europe 4, U.S. 3, with five matches even.
Love turns up for an on-camera interview and it’s clear he feels the same sense of foreboding. He reveals he advised Watson, still 2 down to Donald at the 16th, to do the same thing he told Justin Leonard in the middle of America’s improbable comeback at Brookline: “Drag him out as far as you could.”