Ryder Cup liveblog: Friday afternoon four ball

And we’re back! The first observation: Soren Hansen looks like he could be the second banana for a Bond villain. The second: Tom Rinaldi has removed his blazer, so we’re ready to go.

2:13 – Furyk and Special Rodgers only managed a half point after being 2 up with 2 to play. Garcia has still never lost in foursomes. Impressive. I wish he would win a major so we could talk about how good he is. By the way, the last pairing for the Americans is Boo Weekley and J.B. Holmes. We found the guys ESPN was targetting with those NASCAR ads.

2:15 – We’ve gone to the NBC guys. Mike Tirico and Andy North have been replaced with Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller. It’s sort of like going from Pat Summerall and John Madden to the Madden 64 recording of Pat Summerall and John Madden. It’s a downgrade.

2:17 – Anthony Kim absolutely nails an approach on 6. Meanwhile, J.B. hits his birdie putt and that team goes one up against Westwood and Hansen. Westwood has played too good today to not get a full point. We’ll see.

2:21 – Hunter Mahan is absolutely on fire right now. I guess all that slave labor paid off. Miguel Angel Jimenez, however, is not impressed. He halves with a birdie. He also looks like a guy who would be fun to hang out with. Probably holds his liquor well.

2:24 – Mcdowell misses a heartbreaker and AK and Phil are back to 1 down. Meanwhile, Justin Leonard almost aces the 3rd. This might be the best match on the course this afternoon. The Spaniards versus the boring American guys (as if that sets them apart).

2:29 – Jimenez’ nickname is “the Mechanic.” Awesome. We learn he only wanted an espresso machine, cigars, and rioja in the team room. My kind of guy. Meanwhile, Sergio just misses his putt and Leonard and Mahan go 2 up.

2:31 – J.B. has about 40 yards to the second green and manages to end up outside of all three other players on the green. On the fourth, Stricker and Rose halve with birdies.

2:33 – Mickelson is a mile off the fairway, but in true Phil fashion, he hits a fairway wood through the other side of the fairway. Not bad, though. Macdowell hits a wood on to the green, Paddy ends up in the drink, and Kim ends up short after a monster drive.

2:36 – Westwood rolls in another birdie putt. Boo Weekley speaks English worse than Sergio Garcia. He also misses a short biride putt and they go back to all square. Thank God for the GM employee discount. For everyone!

2:40 – George H.W. is in the house! The crowd must be going nuts.

2:43 – More hole halving. That sounds vaguely dirty, doesn’t it? Justin Leonard’s putt was the “purest thing you’ve ever seen” according to Johnny Miller. Sorry, virgins. And also, sorry good old fashioned Kentucky Bourbon. Sergio matches him, but apparently not as pure, since no one mentions anything about it. And we get to see film of the American “pep rally.” Terrifying. It looks like the RNC, except more flags. And more people. So that’s nice.

2:48 – Johnny and Dan are almost openly rooting for the US right now. Johnny Miller just tried to will Mcdowell’s tee shot over the green.

2:52 – And Mcdowell comes back and nails the putt. Dan Hicks actually does an ok job hiding his disappointment. 2-up through 8.

2:55 – Johnny Miller would have picked Clarke and Monty. And he sounds pissed about it. What a jerk that Nick Faldo is, exercising his opinion as a captain and picking two good young golfers.

3:00 – Westwood continues his charge. Holmes, coming out of the gallery, almost cans it, but still has some work to do to halve. Apparently Boo Weekley doesn’t like pants. Doesn’t like the way they feel. Fantastic. How is this guy a pro golfer? Anyways, the commentators love him. J.B. Holmes gags his putt and the Euros go one up. Westwood might win this one by himself.

3:09 – Tirico and North are back. I think Mike Tirico and Anthony Kim are the only minorities anywhere near Valhalla today. Poulter wins a hole, Mickelson sticks one in close, both on tape delay. Good thing we saw that bump about how the Ryder Cup is all about pride.

3:14 – Mickelson converts on the ninth and gets back to 1 down. Andy and Mike proceed to psychoanalyze him. It’s good for him to have to be the steady hand. You know, because he fits that role so well. Old “Fairways and Greens” Mickelson.

3:16 – I’m beginning to notice a slight bias towards showing American shots. It’s amazing that they could find a way to short shrift half the players when there are only four groups on the course. But never overestimate the NBC team. “Golf on NBC – It’s average!”

3:19 – Except for Steve Stricker and Ben Curtis. I’ve seen a combined two shots from that team. They can’t be any worse than any other team, can they? Well, Steve Stricker hits an absolutely awful shot into the water on 7. So, yeah, why not?

3:23 – Westwood is absolutely unstoppable. Birdies 5 and the Euros are 2 up. I’m getting a Lee Westwood retro jersey.

3:26 – Enough, Tom Rinaldi. Enough. “Golf is a sport forged in solitude”? I know team golf is a novelty and all, but you’ve got to be kidding me with this sappy garbage.

3:30 – Ian Poulter makes it two up with an awkward white guy fist pump. Say what you will about Tiger, the man is the only one who can fist pump without looking like a tool.

3:31 – “Oh, this one’s moving a little bit left to the right.” I know what you meant sir, but there’s a better way to say that.

3:36 – Padraig Harrington is “putting to a different sized cup right now.” Another halve to stay at one-up. He also only has one degree of loft on his putter. Most have 3.5-5 degrees. The more you know…

3:40 – Is there ever a chip that isn’t “incredibly delicate.” Not on this golf course, I guess. The crowd sounds a little more reserved all of a sudden. I haven’t heard a “U-S-A” chant in awhile.

3:45 – One word to describe the Ryder Cup: “Orgasmic.” – Jesper Parnevik. Meanwhile, the Leonard/Mahan drop a hole to Garcia/Jimenez. Not really that exciting, but Jesper was there, I guess.

3:48 – J.B. Holmes drives it through the fairway on 7. The fairway is “only” 330 yards long. What a wuss. Bob Rolfing finally points out Padraig’s creepy eye thing, but he doesn’t call it that. He just calls it “that stare.”

3:51 – The Mechanic has a great swing. Nice tempo, good trajectory. But he has a beer belly and a grody ponytail, so no one says anything nice about it.

3:52 – Pantsless Boo is on in two at 7. He tries to get the crowd fired up. The announcers are scared he’s gonna get Lee Westwood fired up. Apparently, Westwood likes to silence the crowd. Hansen and Westwood are just on fire right now. Fairways, greens, putts. Boo and J.B. can’t get on the same page.

3:57 – Ian Poulter just hits an awesome approach for a gimme bird. Steve Stricker (remember him?) answers, but will have to putt it out. One hole back, Leonard just misses his birdie putt. The Mechanic has a chance to square the match, but misses on the amateur side. Americans up 1 through 8.

4:01 – Golf is the only sport where the rules officials follow around the players and tell them exactly what to do. Golfers don’t have to learn any rules if they aren’t shy about asking a guy on every shot if he’s allowed to get a free drop. “Line-of-sight” obstruction, anyone?

4:03 – Stricker makes his putt to stay at 2 down at the turn. Ben Curtis has been nonexistent. Meanwhile, the announcers get a good chuckle at the phrase “adventursome birdie.” They have a different code of funny. Pantsless Boo hits a terrible putt and Hansen halves. The crowd is out of it.

4:06 – “America needs to get something going.” Not to interject political commentary or anything, but that’s true, Andy. Mickelson hits an approach stiff, so he agrees. Apparently he hasn’t smiled this much in a day that Mike Tirico can remember. Does he need anti-depressents? The gang debates it on Sportscenter, tonight at midnight. The putt is conceded, so the Euros need a putt to stay one-up.

4:10 – And Harrington answers! He really is putting to a different size hole. Never a doubt.

4:16 – The official policy seems to be: “you only get to see one putt per team, per hole, no matter what the situation is.” They didn’t even show Sergio’s putt on 9. Meanwhile, Westwood silences the crowd by matching J.B. Holmes’ bird on 8 to stay two up. Back on 9, Hunter Mahan drops one to go 2 up.

4:20 – On tape delay, we see Mickelson’s excellent fairway bunker shot at 12. Kim is close as well. That match could go square. But how does Phil feel? Is he smiling? Does he like Anthony Kim? Has he gained weight? These are the important questions. And they square it up. Padraig isn’t invincible after all.

4:31 – Kim is in close at 13. An American charge in the works? Holmes is in tight at 9, but Westwood and Hansen look unflappable.

4:33 – Thank God Rick Reilly is here. Terrible TV personality. The Lakers and Kobe = The US and Tiger Woods. You know, because Basketball = Golf so much. His reasons the US will win: Boo Weekley hunts alligators and J.B. Holmes almost beat Tiger Woods at the Accenture. Awesome, dude. Then, he says he’ll tongue bathe a Beefeater if he’s wrong. Now I’m really rooting for the Americans, if only to avoid that scenario.

4:37 – Mickelson goes under the ball. Lucky for him AK is on the job. He looks more comfortable playing his own ball. Both of them are lining up this putt. I wonder if they pay attention to each other or if Phil is just like, “Hey, just follow my lead and people will think you’re a team player.” Whatever they did, it worked. Kim holes it for birdie. One-up. “He is exactly what Phil Mickelson needs.” -Andy North. Why, because he’s a safe player that allows Phil to go at pins and take crazy chances? No, because he’s young and has that youthful exuberance. That’s a legitimate reason.

4:42 – I wonder if GM is having a sale of some kind. Would I possibly pay what they pay? Where can I get that information?

4:47 – They’re using different colors for the different teams on Shottracker. Bob Rolfing calls the technology “amazing.” Not the tracker, which is pretty cool, but the colors. It shows Sergio hit a bleeder that ends up off the green. The Mechanic is going to has to drag that team through this match.

4:50 – Phil hits a good one, putting the pressure on Mcdowell and Harrington. Macdowell answers the call. So does Harrington. They won’t go down without a fight. Meanwhile, J.B. wastes a 372 yard blast by flying the green.

4:54 – Mcdowell rolls it in. This is a much better match than the morning one. Phil has about 8 feet to halve and retain the lead. But he yanks it dead right. All square. Over on 11, Jimenez drops in a huge putt to get it back to 1 down. He does the classy “count it!” finger point. Much better than the fist pump. Looks cooler.

5:00 – Stricker halves another hole, but Curtis is still AWOL. 2 down.

5:03 – Holmes and Hansen trade inept chip shots after drops. This match has not been all that exciting, except for Lee Westwood. Although it’s only 1-up, so the U.S. could steal a half point here. I don’t expect Westwood to let Pantsless Boo and Johnny Wadd to beat him though.

5:06 – I spoke too soon. He misses a birdie putt and The Unpantsed One has a shot to quare the match. Center-cut. Rolfing lets out a “boooo.” But he chuckles, so it’s ok.

5:10 – So, I realize I’ve been writing “Bob Rolfing” this entire time. It’s because I can’t tell the difference between Bob Murphy and Mark Rolfing. Woops. I need another coffee.

5:13 – The Stricker/Curtis foursome has been put on the clock. I like the image of a cranky old ranger yelling at them from the cart path that they need to speed up. That’s what I’m going to assume happened.

5:15 – Sergio finally contributes, but Leonard still has a shot to put the Americans 2 up. Right in the middle. After 12, Justin and Hunter might beat Sergio and Miguel. Lou Dobbs is smiling somewhere. Lou Dobbs, like John McCain, is unaware of where Spain is in relation to Mexico.

5:19 – There’s something strangely creepy about listening to grown men giggle like 6 year olds about the butterflies on the course. Padraig’s stare, speaking of creepy, is now “calm and confident” according to Andy North. Laser focus, “both literally and figuratively.” You have to try to butcher the language like this. Think about that phrase for second. Padraig Harrington’s focus can literally saw James Bond in half. “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to knock down a 6-iron from 191 yards uphill.”

5:22 – Boo and J.B. have been bad on alternate holes. Lee Westwood has cooled off a little. But I still can’t believe this match is all square.

5:26 – I can understand how Mahan and Leonard are winning, however. I’ve only made one slave reference to Mahan, and I think that’s enough for now. Meanwhile, Poulter and Rose go three up. This match is over. They’re taking Stricker and Curtis to the woodshead. Stricker is probably pissed at Zinger for sticking him with Deadweight Curtis. Tough first Ryder Cup when you have to lug around your partner in your first match.

5:33 – I’ve seen more images of Americans lining up putts than Europeans hitting shots. I’m just sayin’. Also, Judy is obsessed with who plays first. That’s all she talks about. Meanwhile, Mahan rolls in another birdie to go 3 up, then blatently rips off Tiger’s fist pump. He’s skinny enough to not look too awkward, but come on man, get your own fist pump.

5:37 – Kim sticks one close at 17 and sets off a ration of “U-S-A” chants. That would be an excellent point if he can make the putt, but Paddy has a putt for it and you never know. Meanwhile, at 15, Ben Curtis hits his first good shot of the day. Too little, too late. And at 12, Pantsless Boo the Gator Wrassler hits a long putt and the crowd erupts. Westwood needs a great putt to halve. Not quite, and he’s pissed at the antics of Bo and Luke as they go to 13.

5:41 – Phil drains his birdie putt. Wow, what a swing for the US. Harrington and Mcdowell have two shots to halve. Meanwhile, Curtis misses his short birdie putt and the match goes dormie. Mcdowell just barely misses. Harrington is right on the same line, so he should have a good chance to make it.

5:43 – Nope, hit it too hard. Mickelson and Kim take the 1-up to the last hole in the best match of the day. AK looks like a little kid. He seems more excited than anyone else on the American side today. Even Sergio’s legendary enthusiasm seems diminished this year. Still, nothing matches the thrill of Ben Curtis and Steve Stricker.

5:47 – Phil hits 3-wood off the tee at 18. Paddy goes into the trap, Kim misses the fairway, and Mcdowell hits an absolutely perfect shot in the middle of the fairway. Over at 13, Hansen goes into the drink. Now I know why Lee Westwood isn’t winning. Boo hits a good one. Wow, I was wrong about that match.

5:50 – I was also wrong about the Leonard/Mahan vs. Garcia/Mechanic match. What a stinker.

5:52 – Mickelson has the same club in the fairway at 18. He hits another safe layup. Meanwhile, I haven’t seen any of Justin Rose’s shots, even though their team is 3 up. Poulter must have been awesome.

5:56 – A Graeme Mcdowell vs. Boo Weekley match on Sunday would be great for lovers of accents. I don’t think they’d even be able to talk to each other. Unfortunately, Macdowell is in the trap at 18 and they’ll need a little luck. to grab a half point. Poor Ben Curtis is about to hit the last shot of their epic loss. The announcers are predicted he’s about to get benched. And lose they do, 3 and 2.

6:03 – Ian Poulter – goofy hair, goofy outfits, brash youngster, boring as everyone else in the post match interview. Meanwhile, Justin Leonard holes a chip to give the Americans a chance to win the match outright on 15. The Mechanic misses his putt and the Americans have another point, 4 and 3. The score is 4-2 now.

6:08 – Mickelson and Kim take a point in the best match of the day. A real team effort. I can’t wait to find out how Phil’s feeling and if he’s happy. 5-2.

6:18 – Bo and Luke spray their tee shots on 15, but they both hit objects and bounce back into play. Lee Westwood just bit off the head of of his 9-iron. Holmes takes his second chance and hammers it off the grandstand. Fantastic. Hansen is safely on, while Boo almost hits a miracle shot, but it hits and carries over the green. Westwood can take dead aim.

6:21 – Teriffic shot. Good chance to square this one up. Also, a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid? Really? So it gets 9 miles to the gallon instead of 7? I’m confused.

6:24 – Johnny Wadd leaves his chip in the rough. I love watching pro golfers play like me. Luckily, Pantsless Boo hits a good one to make the Euros earn this one. Also, Mrs. Mickelson looks like she’s put on a few lbs. Hmm.

6:27 – Westwood’s putt peeks in and decides that this hole is not for him. It’s up to Soren Hansen. If they squander this one, the match might be over. And so it is. Never even had a chance. Now Boo can salvage this one with a 3 footer. I hate to say this, but I wonder if the crowd and the antics of the Duke boys have gotten to the straight laced Euros.

6:33 – The U.S. boys find their drivers on 16. My goodness, can they hit the ball a long way. The Euros match and everyone’s in the fairway. With only one match going on, there isn’t much to talk about, so I think I’m going to wrap this up. But not before the Pantsless Wonder sticks one close. This one’s over. Although J.B. is trying his best to hit 0 greens in regulation on the back.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do this tomorrow, but I have a wrap up of the day’s events tomorrow night. All in all, a great day for the Americans. If they end up with 6-2 or 5.5-2.5, they have a real chance to win this thing, but who knows. Maybe today was a fluke. But Leonard/Mahan and Mickelson/Kim look like they won’t lose if they get to play together tomorrow. If the U.S. goes into Sunday with a few points in hand, they’ll win this. They can’t be that much worse than the Euros in singles. Right?

6:44 – Sorry, one more. Dear Paul Azinger: No golf team, i.e. team of men who make a living playing golf, should ever be described as a “real blue-collar team.” That is all. See you guys tomorrow.

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One Response to “Ryder Cup liveblog: Friday afternoon four ball”

  1. […] ot Cosideme! Where it’s always the middle of the night « A legal pickle? Ryder cup liveblog: Friday afternoon four ball […]

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