USA vs Europe: Players That Must Improve on Second Day of Ryder Cup
The United States were able to get a 5-3 lead on the first day of the Ryder Cup, but this event is far from over.
A few players played some of the best golf of their lives in this exciting tournament. Veteran Phil Mickelson made key shots to keep up with teammate Keegan Bradley as the duo went 2-0 on the day. On the European side, Nicolas Colsaerts had an impressive showing with eight birdies and an eagle in the four-ball competition.
Unfortunately, not every golfer played to their ability. These men will need to step up their efforts in order to help their team take home the trophy.
There were certainly worse performers on the European side on Friday, but the team needs more from Graeme McDowell. The Northern Ireland golfer was paired with compatriot Rory McIlory, and it will not be surprising if the two play together on Saturday.
When the No. 1 golfer in the world is on your team, you should not lose any matches. This was not the case when the Bradley-Mickelson combo were able to lead in four-ball from beginning to end.
Europe needs this pair to earn as many points as possible over the course of this tournament. When this group loses, it does not leave much hope for the rest of the team to be successful.
Stricker's main value on the American roster is his ability to play with Tiger Woods. His teammate came into the day with a 9-13-1 record in team events at the Ryder Cup, but the pair was able to go 2-1 in 2010.
Unfortunately, Stricker and Woods were unable to get a point in two contests on the first day. Stricker was the main culprit as he continually missed shots from every part of the course. Tiger's great play down the stretch was the only reason the afternoon session was even close.
The veteran better hold his end of the bargain on Saturday, or captain Davis Love is just wasting his best player in this pairing.
No European had been better in the Ryder Cup than Donald until the first session on Friday. The British native, who won 77 percent of points from 2004-2010, lost his first foursome match in seven chances.
Equally disappointing was the performance of teammate Sergio Garcia, who also came into the event with an unbeaten foursome record.
The Europeans likely expected this group to earn multiple points, but captain Jose Maria Olazabal did not trust them enough to put them in the afternoon session.
With the squad behind, Donald and Garcia will be needed to regain the momentum for the team. For that to happen, Donald must get back to his shot-making ways.
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