The 2010 Ryder Cup was upstaged by rain on opening day. In fact, the Ryder Cup as a whole stands to be overtaken by bad weather through the weekend. Although officials still hope to cram all 28 matches in by Sunday, it is more likely that things will end on Monday – one way or another. Even if all the matches aren’t finished by Monday’s sunset, the championship will be awarded then and there. As such, the results for the opening matches are even more important – and have already seen some momentum shifts.
When a lengthy rain delay interrupted play, the Europeans had jumped off to the quick start. Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer went up early over Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, while Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker were also down. The only Americans to lead when the rain set in were Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton.
Yet when the Ryder Cup resumed, the results turned a bit for the Americans. At the end of the day, it was the USA that led two matches, with the Europeans leading one, while a fourth was all square. And after being down by three at one point, Mickelson and Johnson closed the gap to one by sunset.
Thus far, Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar lead Rory McIlory and Graeme McDowell by 2-up through 11, with Watson and Overton leading Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington 1-up through eight, and Woods and Stricker all square with Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher. However, this means that the schedule for Saturday will be extra cramped.
After these first four “fourball” matches are finished, they will move on to six alternate-shot matches at once for the second session. The third session features two alternate-shot matches and four more fourball games. That will not be finished on time, but officials hope that not much will be left over for Sunday, and that the final 12 singles matches can end on time.
Despite this tinkering around, it is nearly certain that the Ryder Cup will end on a Monday for the first time. Yet there is still hope to avoid the worst case scenario, where the championship is handed out on Monday night despite unfinished matches.
If that happens, however, then getting the early lead becomes even more crucial for the Americans and Europeans. At first, it looked like Europe would benefit, but once they got back on the course, the USA jumped back up. Further momentum swings will be subject to the rain, if or when it does come back.
For now, there are still plans for a very full day two of the Ryder Cup, with NBC starting coverage at 8 am est tomorrow.
Yahoo Sports- “Rain delay suits US fine at water-logged Ryder Cup”