MEDINAH, IL (AP) – Leading off with its strongest team, world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, Europe has begun defense of the Ryder Cup.
Loud chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” greeted the Northern Irishmen and the American duo of Jim Furyk and Ryder Cup Brandt Snedeker as they walked onto the first tee at Medinah Country Club.
McDowell, who delivered the winning point for Europe two years ago, hit the first shot and it sailed way left, coming to rest beneath a tree near the corporate hospitality tents that line the fairway. Furyk’s drive wasn’t much better, also bouncing into the gallery.
The other alternate-shot matches are Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley vs. Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia; Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson vs. Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari; and Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods vs. Ian Poulter and Justin Rose.
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