Ryder Cup 2012 Schedule: Key Storylines Heading into Saturday

Ethan Grant@DowntownEGAnalyst ISeptember 29, 2012

MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 28:  Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson of the USA on the nineth green during the Afternoon Four-Ball Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 28, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The 2012 Ryder Cup has already given us plenty of surprises, from the emergence of Keegan Bradley to the unbelievable round of Nicolas Colsaerts.

American Bubba Watson even used his opening tee shot to get the crowd more involved in Chicago at Medinah, and it certainly has been a great start to the historic tournament that the United States leads 5-3 heading into day 2.

Another big story is the exclusion of Tiger from a session for the first time in his career when he's healthy at the Ryder Cup. Healthy or not, it was the right move by U.S. captain Davis Love III, especially after how poorly Tiger and Steve Stricker looked in the alternate shot format.

Tiger and Stricker can rest in the morning and be ready to come back and close the four-ball matches out in the afternoon, as each played considerably better when shooting their own ball as opposed to the same one.

Here's a look at everything we know about Saturday's matchups. Session No. 3 will feature the foursomes group below, and the following four ball session, No. 4, won't be announced until the conclusion of session three is imminent.

To watch the Ryder Cup live, make sure to tune into NBC starting at 8:30 a.m. ET, find RyderCup.com on your computer for live streaming or download the official Ryder Cup application for your smart phone or tablet.


Saturday's Foursomes Pairings

United States Start Time (ET) Europe
Bubba Watson/Webb Simpson 7:20 Justin Rose/Ian Poulter
Keegan Bradley/Phil Mickelson 7:35 Lee Westwood/Luke Donald
Jason Dufner/Zach Johnson 7:50 Nicolas Colsaerts/Sergio Garcia
Jim Furyk/Brandt Snedeker 8:05 Rory McIlroy/Graeme McDowell


Key Storylines

No Tiger?

It's the first time Tiger has been absent from a session in his Ryder Cup career, and although it's tough to keep him on the bench in this situation, the performances across the board elsewhere were so strong on Friday that Woods needs to clear his head.

He and Stricker accounted for two of the three U.S. losses, and since he played better in the four-ball setup of the tournament, I love this move by Love III. When you factor in that Woods and Stricker played 35 of a possible 36 and were the last ones on the course, Tiger could use a morning off.



The two young Ryder Cup participants looked anything but young on Friday, and each was sinking putts like it was the 18th green on every hole. The level of excitement was high when these two were on the course, and it helped set the tone for both teams.

Can Bradley and Mickelson keep up their torrid pace against the always formidable Westwood and Donald? The American duo seemed to ride the wave of good vibes and played well off each other in both formats.

Colsaerts was absolutely money on Friday, shooting a 63 and single-handedly defeating two of the top U.S. golfers in the world right now. Every chance he had to make a long putt, he delivered. He out-dueled Tiger Woods, and Tiger couldn't make the big putt like Colsaerts did on No. 17.


Redemption at Close

In the match of the day yesterday, Furyk and Snedeker stormed back from a three-down deficit on the last four holes, only to be bested on the 18th when Snedeker hooked a drive well out of the fairway, making it an easy play for Graeme McDowell to seal the European point.

Well, this foursome will get another crack at each other, except this time they'll be closing out the slate of action. How will the Americans respond after trading punches with the European super team? Look for a big performance from an emotionally charged Furyk, and if the Americans can somehow pull this one off, they'll have a good shot at taking home the Cup on Sunday.

McDowell is certainly ready to get some of these monkeys off the backs of the Europeans after stunning losses in some matches the Europeans felt they had an advantage in.

Enroute to Medinah for day 2 here at The Ryder Cup. I feel a big day for the Europeans coming......#justgotafeeling#teameurope

— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) September 29, 2012

It's going to be another great day of action leading up to the four ball matches this afternoon and the singles matches on Sunday. It's shaping up to be quite the competition between these two heavyweight squads, so make sure you tune in to see who throws the final punch.

As always, keep up with B/R for all your Ryder Cup coverage needs, and keep checking back for updated scores and rankings throughout this weekend.