Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Boston Massacre European Golfers Dominate U.S. Team

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Boston Massacre European Golfers Dominate U.S. Team

Article excerpt

BROOKLINE, Mass. -There were highlights and high fives enough for both teams. But Europe dominated the first round of doubles at the 33rd Ryder Cup yesterday because it continued to execute the mundane tasks required to win at match play.

Old news and predictable results. The Europeans fended off a brief Tiger Woods-inspired charge by the U.S. in the afternoon best ball matches at The Country Club, and took a 6-2 lead in a bid to become the first team to win three Cups in a row since the U.S. won seven consecutive from 1971-1983.

The rookie-laden European team entered as heavy underdogs, even in betting parlors in its own continent. That, again, is old news, as they won the first two alternate-shot matches in the morning (against teams containing Woods and David Duval of Ponte Vedra Beach, the Nos.1 and 2 players in the world) and rallied late to win three matches and halve the fourth in the afternoon best ball format. Europe now enjoys the largest first-day lead in the Ryder Cup since it led the U.S. by the same score in the 1987 matches at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. Europe went on to win that Ryder Cup 15-13. No team has ever rallied from a fourpoint deficit to win the Cup. The biggest comeback in history was when the U.S. rallied to beat Great Britain 19-13 in 1973 at Muirfield, Scotland, after being behind 5 1/2- 2 1/2 on the opening day.

"There's not a bit of complacency," said European captain Mark James. "We still have a long way to go."

But his team made it a bit shorter to get there. Europe needs 14 points to retain the Cup, and only needs eight more from a combination of eight doubles matches today and 12 singles matches tomorrow. By contrast, the U.S. must win 14 1/2 points to wrest the Cup away from Europe for the first time since 1993, and is 12 1/2 points from that now-distant goal. …

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