Nicolas Colsaerts, a captain's pick of Jose Maria Olazabal, blew away all other players in the Friday foursomes with eight birdies and an eagle.
“If the information that I got was correct, I think it’s been the best scoring for a rookie in the history of the Ryder Cup,” European captain Jose Maria Olazabal said.
“It’s difficult to imagine you’re going to do so well,” Colsaerts said. “But this is what match play is. You have to hole it because you know the other guy is going to get it on top of you. Your focus gets very intense, and I’m proud that I played the best way I could.”
“It was unbelievable to watch,” Colsaerts’ partner Lee Westwood said. “I tried to stay in holes, and play along, but it was one of those amazing days.” Westwood was in four holes with pars.
Colsaerts birdied the second, fourth, fifth, seventh, and ninth on the front side. He eagled the tenth and then made birdies at the 13th, 15th and 17th.
Westwood said he had the best seat in the house.
“I don’t know what he did this morning that set him off, but I’ve got to find it tomorrow,” Westwood added.
Tiger Woods congratulated Colsaerts after the round. Despite the amazing performance of the Belgian rookie, Woods and partner Steve Stricker hung on through 18 holes to lose just 1 up. Woods accounted for seven birdies and Stricker had two.
Tomorrow Colsaerts is paired with Sergio Garcia in the morning foursomes. Olazabal explained his thinking.
“Nicolas, the way he played today, you know, he was very impressive. Obviously you have to use that kind of momentum,” Olazabal said. “Sergio, he’s a consistent player. He has the experience. I think character-wise, they are pretty much similar, and that’s the reason behind it.”
Kathy Bissell is a Golf Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials from the USGA, PGA Tour or PGA of America.