Thanks to the Europeans for not taking advantage, some great play from Keegan Bradley, Zach Johnson, and Jason Dufner, the US might have got away with some stubborness from their captain. And it was almost enough to cover up the stench left by Tiger Woods. Almost.
Before the day it was obvious that Davis Love III wanted to backload his morning, with what he thought would be a sure-pairing of Woods and Steve Stricker. Whereas Jose Olazabal wanted to front-load his with Rory McIlroy and the unbeatable pairing of Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia leading off. Love also wanted to pair his rookies out in the morning with his most experienced in Furyk and Phil Mickelson. The problem is that Furyk is so god awful in Ryder Cup that Brendt Snedeker couldn't quite save him. Bradley was good enough to cover up for some early, patented Mickelson goofiness.
It almost got better for the US as McIlroy and Graeme McDowell did everything they could to cough up a 3up lead in the final six holes. But Snedeker sent his drive on the last to somewhere near Northwestern and the Europeans were able to escape with a point they were probably banking on beforehand.
Zach Johnson and Dufner were just enough to get by Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari, thanks to Westwood losing touch with his putter and getting wayward everywhere else. But the morning's momentum was established by the clutch Bradley getting the crowd roaring with just immaculate golf.
All of that couldn't be wasted by the simply woeful performance from Woods and Stricker. Only because Poulter and Justin Rose are nice guys did they not completely embarrass the Yank side. They couldn't find a fairway, a green, and they certainly couldn't hole a putt. In fact, Woods was so awful it's a big surprise he's being risked in the afternoon session again. Maybe the thinking is that with Stricker playing his own ball he won't be quite as ineffective trying to haul Woods's shots out of the darkness.
But he'd better get it together soon.