Smiting Drives - Europe fights back on epic day two
02 Oct 2010 - 20:38:36
Golf.co.uk's on-course correspondents Will Tidey and Jac Trickett reflect on Saturday's extended action at the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Will Tidey: If Friday's soggy start left golf fans feeling short-changed, Saturday repaid their faith in spades. Play started at 8am today and continued at a dizzying pace until dark fell on the Usk valley. There were heroics aplenty. Team USA deservedly hold a two-point lead, but we ended the day with six blue numbers on the board and everything pointing towards a dramatic conclusion on Sunday.
The atmosphere on the first tee was extraordinary. Hairs on the back of my neck stood up with the arrival of each European pair, as the gathered hoards stamped their feet and chanted like a hysterical football fans to greet their heroes. This is not golf like you know it. Or like any of the players know it for the matter.
As for the action proper, you could only admire the ruthless putting of the Americans - as they set about stealing the initiative from the hosts. Stewart Cink sunk them from everywhere. Matt Kuchar drained putts for fun.
But Europe finished the day strongly. Lee Westwood, as ever leading by example, joined Luke Donald in dismantling the challenge of Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker. And his team-mates duly followed suit. Europe lead in all six of the matches overnight and Colin Montgomerie's hopes of entering the singles at 8-8 or better are very much alive.
Montgomerie's dressing room call-to-arms clearly had the desired effect on his team. He questioned their passion, and demanded they do more to connect with the partisan crowds. If they can carry their momentum into Sunday's play, Monty's men will surely bring it home.
Jac Trickett: The primary thought you're left with after Saturday's play in Ryder Cup 2010 is 'my legs hurt.' A good alternative is 'Why do i feel like I've run a marathon in a rhinoceros costume?'
It was an exhausting day, and I was just watching golf. What it must have been like for the players pounding shot after shot like they were Crazy Pavin and Monty's personal golf slaves goodness only knows.
With the match perfectly poised, the excitement will only build and build to a point where even biblical downpours won't dampen the spirits of the partisan Welsh crowd.