- The Washington Times - Friday, September 22, 2006

MORNING FOUR-BALL MATCHUPS

3 a.m.Stewart Cink/J.J. Henry (USA)

vs. Paul Casey/Robert Karlsson (EUR)

Yesterday’s best match will attempt a reprise this morning, as the two pairings that matched each other with scorching four-ball 65s cross sticks again at K Club. Henry was the best American player on the property yesterday, and the torrid rookie gets a slight nod over Europe’s erratic bombers.

Prediction: Cink/Henry win 2&1

3:15 a.m.Phil Mickelson/Chris DiMarco (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/J.M. Olazabal (EUR)

The way these two parings played yesterday, the Spanish Armada might sink the wayward Americans shortly after the turn. Garcia was that good yesterday, running his Ryder Cup record in the team formats to an almost infallible 11-1-2. And last year’s Presidents Cup heroes were that bad, carding just six birdies in 36 holes en route to an 0-1-1 opening day.

Prediction: Garcia/Olazabal win 2-up

3:30 a.m.Tiger Woods/Jim Furyk (USA) vs. Darren Clarke/Lee Westwood (EUR)

The U.S. titan tandem struggled somewhat yesterday (1-1-0), but don’t expect another slow start and halting finish. Clarke and Westwood drew the hapless American pair of Mickelson and DiMarco yesterday; they’ll get no such freebie today.

Prediction: Woods/Furyk win 3&2

3:45 a.m.Scott Verplank/Zach Johnson (USA) vs. Henrik Stenson/Padraig Harrington (EUR)aIf you didn’t know any better, you almost would assume Captain Tom Lehman got his formats mixed up when he put these two foursomes-friendly short hitters from the United States together. Stenson and Harrington were both solid, though unspectacular, yesterday. But at least both Euros make more than a birdie every other month.

Prediction: Stenson/Harrington win 1-up

Predicted session total: Europe 2, U.S. 2

Predicted total score: Europe 7, U.S. 5


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