Watson and Simpson birdied seven of their first eight holes, and their lone par – on No. 2 – was still good enough to win the hole.
Even with Tiger Woods struggling, the Americans managed a tie in the first session of the Ryder Cup.
Mickelson is the most experienced player on the U.S. team, playing in every Ryder Cup team since 1995. The four-time major champion has a record of 11-17-6 in the Ryder Cup.
The Europeans are making a run at the Ryder Cup and have an early 2-0 lead.
Leading off with its strongest team, world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, Europe has begun defense of the Ryder Cup.
There will be no room for growing pains for Bradley and the other three U.S. rookies – Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker.
Sergio Garcia was as spirited as ever two years ago, never letting on how disappointed he was to be on the sidelines at the Ryder Cup.
Luke Guthrie rallied to win the WNB Golf Classic on Sunday for his second straight Web.com Tour title, closing with a 6-under 66 for a one-stroke victory.
Snedeker collected $1.44 million for winning the Tour Championship, his second title of the year. And he won $10 million for capturing the FedEx Cup, which comes with a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
Couples, who also won The Players Championship twice and was Presidents Cup captain three times, will be inducted in May.
What triggered his one-liner at East Lake were comments by Greg Norman that Woods is intimidated by McIlroy. The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland says that’s not true.
Rory McIlroy is No. 1 in the world, and Jim Furyk says that makes him a marked man at the Ryder Cup.