It took just two holes for the fireworks to ignite at the 2012 Ryder Cup.
Rory McIlroy’s tee shot to the par-3 second landed to the right of the green, close to a sprinkler head. When partner Graeme McDowell asked for relief, saying the object interfered with his swing, U.S. opponent Jim Furyk vehemently disagreed.
Officials conferred, ruling about 10 minutes later that McDowell would get no relief. The delay seemed to distract both teams, as Furyk hit a poor putt and McDowell made a wayward chip shot to about six feet.
FedEx Cup winner and Ryder Cup rookie Brandt Snedeker showed why he is the best putter on tour, as he saved par with his flat stick, while McIlroy missed his par putt.
McIlroy got one back on the par-4 fourth hole with a chunky-sounding chip shot that meandered some 50 feet from behind the green downhill into the hole, to halve the match.
Meanwhile, Keegan Bradley showed no nerves whatsoever, as he absolutely blasted his first-ever Ryder Cup tee shot down the center of the first fairway. His belly putter was on fire as well, as he drained a putt to match opponent Luke Bradley’s lengthy putt on the fourth.
The anchor match, on the other hand, did not start well for the Americans. Tiger Woods yanked a 3-wood off the first tee beyond the gallery and into the trees. After Stricker escaped jail with an excellent shot, the two were able to halve the hole.
Trouble lurked on the par-3 second, as Stricker dumped his tee shot into the water. They got one back on the third hole, when Justin Rose missed his putt to halve the hole and Woods and Stricker went to the fourth all square.