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The Ryder Cup opens with a hostile and perfect 1st day at Hazeltine

What looked like a raucous blowout early got tightened up late as the Euros responded among the hostile USA crowd.

The opening day at the Ryder Cup went two very distinct ways from the first session to the second, but it delivered on what we expect and was an instant reminder of why this is the best event in golf. It was my first day ever attending a Ryder Cup and here are three things I'll always remember.

1. Rory's figurative middle finger to the hostile crowd

A day that started as an American rout ended with the most dynamic force on either team making a huge statement that there's still a long way to go in this Ryder Cup.

Rory McIlroy is, without a doubt, the most popular player here on the European side. The crowds cheered for him through the practice rounds the most, and then he received the loudest ovation at that garish over-the-top opening ceremony. When the real shots started flying on Friday, however, things got a bit more hostile. The Minnesota crowd was at the edge for most of the day, and maybe a few of the tuned-up and over-served patrons occasionally went over the edge.

The biggest gripe from the Europeans about the crowd was the prevalence of cheering poor shots or missed putts. That started before the sun was fully up, as the first tee crowd roared at putts that burned the edge on the No. 1 green as they were shown on the video board.

Rory's morning partner, Andy Sullivan, dumped one in the drink at the critical 17th in foursomes and that ended up giving Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler the late comeback win. The crowd let loose cheering the water ball, and McIlroy cited that in his end-of-day press conference as an instance of there being too much of that.

So with the ignominy of a 4-0 shutout in the morning, and stewing as the home crowd got so much to cheer for, McIlroy went out in the anchor match of afternoon fourball and proceeded to provide an emphatic riposte. He saw what was happening ahead, with the Euros catching a heater and taking considerable leads in two of the first three matches. Rory and Thomas Pieters then went 3-up through six and, as they always seem to do, the Euros got right back into it.

The European afternoon statement, however, would not be made by a simple 3-1 win of the session. The three points are what they need, but McIlroy felt duty-bound to deliver a celebration for his team, the hostile crowd, and probably his opponent to leave an impression on all heading to Day 2.

That's a walkoff eagle, two bows for the crowd, and a "F**KING COME ON!!!!!!" scream for his assembled teammates. McIlroy said he was thinking about how he was going to celebrate before he even read and made the putt. This was a premeditated statement and it was everything we love about the most captivating talent on the planet, and this modern era of the Ryder Cup.

Rory's here and we want more.

2. The first tee of the first day at dawn

I'd heard all about this experience and how nothing in golf compares and, well, I doubt I'll ever have that kind of experience again on a golf course. It was such an odd feeling from the very start -- so different from every other golf event you've been to.

Usually people are running to the 18th hole for the conclusion of a major. Not today. Thousands in the Twin Cities area woke up at 5 a.m. already hyped, making the trip in darkness to Hazeltine. You could feel the anticipation and eagerness on the shuttle -- you'd typically be scouting out who you wanted to see and where you wanted to go on the ride over to the course. Not today -- everyone on the bus knew exactly where they were headed and wanted to be there as soon as possible. They ran off the buses and from their cars to get in the security and ticket line. They got frustrated with the pace at which security was working. Even Jordan Spieth's parents were panicked a bit while caught in a slow security line trying to get through to see their son in that first match.

Once you're though security, it's a wild dash to a surreal wall of sound. There was an emcee getting the crowd fired up, delegations from both sides leading choreographed songs and chants, and music blaring over a loudspeaker. There was a biting damp chill and it was 6:30 a.m. -- circumstances that rarely lead to feelings of exhilaration, but that's exactly what the scene is on the first tee of the first morning at the Ryder Cup.

This was so not golf. Soccer chants. Songs. Exhortations to be MORE rowdy and louder. We wait two years for the start of another Ryder Cup, and this scene rises from that built-up anticipation.

3. Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth are now the USA's heartbeat

The lead dogs of Reed and Spieth were there on that first tee, hitting in the foggy dawn on the way to earning the first point in what would be the USA's first sweep of an opening session since 1975. Their takedown of the Euro power pairing of Stenson and Rose was exactly why they were chosen by Davis Love III to be in that leadoff spot.

This is Reed's event. It's what pushed him to prominence for many in the States when he was still relatively unknown in 2014. Spieth is the most popular young American player in the game and gets the adoration of the crowd wherever he goes, not just when he's playing a team home game. The combination created a wave from that first match on the course. They drew the biggest crowds and the loudest roars. Fans sang the national anthem as they approached a tee box and chanted "U-S-A" as they walked up to each green. There was a tunnel of people and noise everywhere they moved and it crescendoed with the first point of the matches

In the afternoon, Stenson and Rose flipped it back on them and went a little nuts, pouring in everything and going 9-under through 14 holes to wipe out the American duo. Spieth and Reed will be back out together again on Saturday -- expect each to play the maximum five sessions. This time they will be in the anchor match of the morning foursomes session, going up against the precocious Spanish duo of Sergio Garcia and Rafael Carbrera-Bello. There will be emphatic celebrations, tense moments, and a frothing-at-the-mouth crowd for that clash of styles and personalities.

Everything about this day, from the first tee shot to Rory's final bow, was exactly what you want from a Ryder Cup. Now we have 20 more points to be decided over two more incredible days at Hazeltine.