Rookies step up on first day of Ryder Cup

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For Love that means sitting down Tiger Woods for the first time in any Ryder Cup he’s played in. Woods won’t play in Saturday morning’s alternate shot matches, but Love said it had nothing to do with Woods and Steve Stricker losing both their opening matches.

“We just don’t want guys to be worn out,” Love said. “We need Tiger and Steve in the afternoon. We need Tiger and Steve on Sunday.”

Olazabal said his plan was to have every player play during the first day, and for his top players to get rested one session before Sunday’s singles, too. Falling behind 5-3 after the first day didn’t tempt him to change his mind.

“No, we stick to the plan,” Olazabal said. “What we need to do is just step it up and play better golf tomorrow. Simple as that.”

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MY BAD: Jim Furyk wasn’t quite sure what he did. Whatever it was, he knew he wasn’t supposed to do it.

Furyk was given a one-stroke penalty on the 10th hole after reporting himself for a rules infraction during his and Brandt Snedeker’s foursomes match against Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, Europe’s top team. Furyk was taking a practice swing on the team’s third shot, and the ball moved ever so slightly.

“I don’t remember what I did, but I think I grounded my club and I at least hovered on the grass,” Furyk said. “It may or may not have changed the competition.”

The Americans bogeyed the hole to go 2 down in the match, and dropped the next hole, too. McIlroy and McDowell eventually won the match, 1 up.

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MAKE SOME NOISE: Apparently, Chicagoans like to sleep in, because more than a few golfers talked about how quiet the galleries were early in the day before cranking up the volume.

“Cold, a little windier than we thought,” is how U.S. captain Davis Love III described the early conditions. And a shaky start by the Americans didn’t help matters.

“I think it stunned the fans a little bit,” he added.

But finally the home team put some red numbers on the board, splitting the morning matches at 2-2. Then, with the sun shining bright in the afternoon, the first two U.S. duos rolled out to big leads early Medinah Country Club started rocking.

Zach Johnson was less impressed by the flat Midwestern accent than the pitch.

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