Ryder Cup Semi-Liveblog: Friday Foursomes

The Ryder Cup is always one of my favorite events of the year. So I’m going to spread the love to you.

10:17 – Ok, so I didn’t wake up early enough to watch from the beginning. Shoot me. I turned on the TV to watch Chad Campbell try to hack a rescue club out of the rough. Stewart Cink hits the next one into the water. Hole conceded, Rose and Poulter up 3.

10:23 – Phil Mickelson gets someone kicked out for snapping a camera during his chip. It’s almost like Tiger Woods is here with us today. Kim makes the par putt. Harrington rolls the short birdie putt in, Harrington and Karlson go 1-up.

10:25 – Lee Westwood makes a mess of Sergio Garcia’s prior mess. Still, tough to fault a guy for

10:27 – Chad Campbell knocks in a birdie to get it back to 2-down. Garcia rips his chip way past the whole and they’re in danger of going down to Furyk and Perry.

10:28 – Padraig Harrington is terrifying. Seriously, watch his eyes after he hits an iron shot. He looks like an extra on a BBC mobster show. His six-iron is short, but Mickelson goes into the trap at 11.

10:30 – Kenny Perry knocks in a short birdie putt. 1-up. “U-S-A” chants. We, as Americans, need something creative.

10:33 – ESPN comes back with the Americans pretending to care about losing. Seriously, Stewart Cink can barely keep the smirk off his face. Anthony Kim hits a terrible trap shot, while Robert Karlsson almost knocks it in from off the green. Uh-oh. Mickelson can’t convert and they go 2-down. Kim isn’t even pretending to be happy playing with Mickelson.

10:36 – Paul Casey rolls in a 20 footer to cut that deficit to 1-down. Still 2-2 on the course.

10:37 – American fans cheering a missed putt. Who says golf fans aren’t classier than the rest of us? Perry has a chance to halve. Andy North tells us he shouldn’t be fooled by anything he sees here this week. He makes it and Mike Tirico says something about “Kentucky roars,” which are apparently whiter than other American roars.

10:40 – At the twelfth, Kim goes way right. Just Leonard hits a bleeder at 11, opening the door for the Euros to square that match. Luckily, he can still get the GM employee pricing for everyone on his new Cadillac.

10:42 – I love watching commercials involving golfers who aren’t here. Tiger Woods? No, try Zach Johnson.

10:43 – Anthony Kim is starting to yell after every shot. I think the pressure is getting to him. Padraig Harrington glares down his iron and the Americans are about to go 3-down.

10:45 – Hunter Mahan bails out Justin Leonard. You want proof that the average guy can’t relate to professional golf? How many “Hunter Mahan”s do you know? Also, apparently Justin Leonard has never won a Ryder Cup match. It’s hard to remember he only halved that match with Olazabal.

10:47 – Phil Mickelson drains an epic par putt. A little pressure on Robert Karlsson. Andy North is excited  the crowd is excited. Ha, Swedes don’t feel pressure. 3-down.

10:48 – Why is everyone talking about the “atmosphere” as if that’s more important than, say “putting”? Sergio isn’t affected by the cheering. This isn’t a major.

10:53 – Apparently Ray Floyd is the most competitive guy out here. Chuckle chuckle chuckle. By the way, the Ryder Cup tradition of having the captains riding around in golf carts is great. What help are they giving exactly, that they need to be ready at a moment’s notice. “Paul, Phil Mickelson is between clubs on six!” “I’m on it.” Of course, they don’t even drive their own carts. They have cart caddies chaffeur them from hole to hole. What a job.

10:58 – Third GM employee discount commercial in as many breaks. I wonder if there’s a sale on? Also, Citi has a commercial where Nick Faldo gives a fake pep talk to people that are clearly not his team. Ah, Golf and finance. They go together like dorky white guys and terrible high fives.

10:59 – On cue, ESPN shows Paul Azinger’s hilarious high-five after holing out from the bunker at the Belfry. One of the all time classic golf high-fives.

11:00 – Rose and Campbell match birdies to halve. Mickelson misses a short birdie. Mike Tirico makes a tortured Mohammed Ali reference, predictably accompanied by chuckling from Bob Rolfing. The Americans catch a break when Karlsson misses the short putt. Kim holes out to get back to 2-down.

11:03 – Justin Leonard halves a hole. Then, they cut to Tom Rinaldi, who is wearing a hilarious beige striped blazer and a purple tie. He gives us the first of surely hundreds of “How awesome is Sergio Garcia in the Ryder Cup?” pieces. My god, is this outfit terrifying. Sorry Tom, but it’s time to find a new assistant.

11:07 – Michael Jordan is here. How obvious is the gambling joke here? Yeah, you’re right. I won’t make it.

11:09 – Cink and Campbell get back to 1-down through 11 amidst more cheering for a missed 20 foot putt. When did this become ok in golf? I’m fascinated. I thought there was etiquette or something.

11:12 – Casey hits a putt that had no business missing. Leonard and Mahan are poised to take another hole. Not even close. Nick Faldo is giggling like a schoolgirl. Still 2-2. Only one match is worse than 1-up, and of course it’s Mickelson. How long until the pundits turn on him for not being good in Ryder Cups?

11:16 -Man, ESPN is all over the collective nuts of Louisville. Mickelson hits an awesome pitch and gives Kim a chance to get another one back. Meanwhile, Furyk hits one stiff at 11. Westwood answers. This is the only match with some real golf being played. Kim hits. Back to 1-down.

11:21 – Sergio misses. The crowd erupts. “It’s destiny that he’s gonna be the guy who does something special. Destiny.” Andy North about Kenny Perry. And he does, missing his putt very specially.

11:24 – Mahan has “played some golf” today. Thanks, Mike.

11:31 – Phil squares the match with a big putt and the crowd goes nuts. Mickelson does an actually not entirely embarassing fist pump, his first of the year.

11:33 – Ian Poulter hits a “soft shank” into the water at 13. The crowd erupts. I’m astonished by this phenomenon.

11:35 – Who is this guy that ESPN thinks watches both Golf and NASCAR? I don’t want to meet him. One thing’s for sure: he’s voting McCain in November. Also, Jack Nicklaus’ First Tee commercials are making me feel guilty. I don’t know why I play golf, but it’s hasn’t helped me get my life on track. It makes me feel like a schmuck.

11:38 – Perry makes, Sergio misses, US 2-up. Sergio’s streak in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Leonard and Mahan go 3-up. The US is tied or in the lead in every match.

11:43 – Anthony Kim hits a great chip on 16. He looks legitimately excited. Meanwhile, Kenny Perry is smirking like John McCain. Incredibly creepy. Harrington manages to knock in a putt to halve. Good match with a lot of bad golf.

11:46 – Everyone is rooting for Kenny Perry. I don’t know why either. I mean, he seems like a nice guy and all, but geez.

11:47 – Faldo’s fake speech: “I know we’re going out there as individuals, but we’re going to play like a team, in our hearts.” I’m inspired.

11:49 – Cink and Campbell go 1 up with only 4 to play. Furyk has to hit a tough one to match Westwood and stay 2-up. Nope. And the European fans are finally heard from. They are not as loud, but they aren’t singing yet.

11:53 – Bob Rolfing just called the potential pairing of Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes “tantalyzing.” I do not want to see this man’s hidden porn collection. Justin Leonard, unphased, taps in a knee-knocker for the first point of the tournament. 2 and 1 for Leonard and Mahan over Stenson and Casey.

11:59 – Robert Karlsson almost chokes a 2-footer, but somehow the ball stays down. First match goes to 18 even. It’s a good thing it’s almost over. Karlsson looks like he needs a drink.

12:00 – More camera trouble. This is the only time golfers match tennis players in degree of whininess. Westwood reacts by missing a putt. Kim goes into the fairway bunker at 18. Woops. It would be a crime to let the Euros steal that point. Karlsson, playing with his hands around his throat, hits into the same bunker, but further back. Great match, guys.

12:03 – Stewart Cink hits into the water and allows Rose and Poulter to square with three to go. Maybe the Americans are feeling a little pressure after all.

12:07 – Wow. Harrington just skulled his bunker shot. Full-on, hand-breaking, crowd-seeking skull. Mickelson responds by hitting into the greenside bunker. Harrington is at least in the fairway. An unorthodox layup I guess. I’ve seen maybe two good shots from the four of them.

12:09 – Garcia went into the water at 15. “The pressure of the Ryder Cup is so different from other pressure.” -Andy North. I’m assuming he means other golf tournaments, but it’s funnier to think about it as the SATs or a job interview.

12:12 – Karlsson hits a good one, while Kim gags another one. He fats his bunker shot and doesn’t even get it on the green. Mickelson has a goofy lie, but he hits an ok flopper. My god, this is a terrible match.

12:14 – Poulter hits an amazing flop shot that almost goes in for birdie. He reacts by throwing his club in the air and looking like a jerk. Meanwhile, Paddy is standing over his birdie putt. Blows it by. Now it’s up to Anthony Kim to salvage this one. And he does! They concede the par to Harrington and Karlsson. Half a point. Not bad.

12:18 – And they’ll be back out together this afternoon. Again against Harrington, this time with Graeme Macdowell. Phil says they need to play more relaxed and make more birdies. Here are the pairings.

12:21 – The extended Citi “captains” commercial is even better than I thought. Paul Azinger apparently reads out loud.

12:27 – Kenny Perry hits a terrible putt from off the green on 16. But it was special. Both teams have similar length putts. Dottie would like to be first in this situation. Good to know. Westwood just barely misses it. It kissed the edge, but went left. Furyk has a chance to win it.

12:29 – First, though, Chad Campbell takes advantage of an opening and sticks one in tight at 17. Furyk misses and the match continues. Hole halved, match dormie to 17.

12:32 – Justin Rose almost holes it on 17. I can’t get over how different Poulter and Rose are. It’s like a wacky new buddy comedy on BBC. Peep show, except less funny, but with a better short game. Cink drains it, all square to 18.

12:36 – Poulter hits a beauty off the tee at 18. Cink absolutely blows it by him. Huge drive, center cut. He even gets a “boo-ya” from some surely white person in the gallery.

12:39 – I’m going to say it. Zach Johnson does not deserve this commercial. It is nice that it’s for Transamerica, which is also a movie about transsexuals. If I meet him, I’ll let him know. Jesus probably wouldn’t be happy about it.

12:42 – Rose goes into the bunker in front of the green. Chad Campbell only has about a 6-iron left. The door is open. And he sticks another one. The Americans have an eagle putt and a great chance to take 3.5 out of 4 in the morning.

12:45 – Westwood hits a good chip, but Furyk nailed his approach and the Americans are close to a full point. And the announcers love Kenny Perry. Andy North is probably commentating with an erection right now. If the putt drops, he’ll need a change of underwear. It doesn’t. Thank god.

12:48 – Garcia finally does something good and extends the match to the 18th. Cink almost canned it, but the Euros could salvage this match. Also, golf announcers chuckle at everything. Even if it isn’t a joke. The mere mention of Camilo Villegas? Comic gold. Rose hits a terrible putt and gives the Americans a short one for the match. On the tee, Garcia hits a perfect tee shot. Poulter misses the par putt and they concede. I can’t believe how shaky the Europeans have been.

12:52 – As I say that, Kenny Perry hits a special tee shot into the water hazard. Destiny strikes again.

12:54 – Just for Men gel = the best ad of the day. I can’t tell if it’s terrible acting on purpose, but my god. Emmitt Smith, Keith Hernadez, Clyde Frazier, rhyming… It doesn’t get any better.

12:58 – The Travelers commercial with the old guy and the huge umbrella is creepy. Kids, even if your bike breaks in the woods, I wouldn’t recommend going off with a strange old guy and his red umbrella.

1:00 – The afternoon matches have started. I’ll be live blogging those too, but I’m going to need lunch and coffee first. I’m still holding out for the end of this last match, but I don’t know if I can make it. Now that Kenny Perry has lost his groove, ESPN isn’t that interested in the match. Instead, we get to meet Graeme Mcdowell. Furyk is taking forever to drop, so I’m going to take a break. I’ll be back in a bit with a new post for the four-ball matches.

Edit: And we’re underway!

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