CHICAGO, Illinois - A strong contingent of young guns with major titles to their credit helped the United States overpower Europe to grab a 5 and 3 lead on the opening day of the 39th Ryder Cup on Friday.
Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson all recorded victories in Friday’s fourballs at the Medinah Country Club course.
Reigning US Open champ Simpson and 2011 PGA Championship winner Bradley are competing in their first Ryder Cups while 2012 Masters winner Watson is in his second.
“Everybody kept calling them rookies but they are proven Tour winners and guys that have played very, very well lately,” said US skipper Davis Love. “So we aren’t considering them rookies except in the Ryder Cup. We showed a little nerves this morning right out of the box but I am proud of the whole team. They stuck together well.”
The Americans dominated the afternoon fourballs, winning three points against the Europeans.
Watson and Simpson scored a crushing 5 and 4 win over Paul Lawrie and Peter Hanson in their afternoon match.
“This was my first Ryder Cup and I was scared to death,” Simpson said. The 34-year-old Watson said he enjoys playing with Simpson because they know each other so well on and off the course.
“Just playing with a buddy can keep me cool,” Watson said. “I know he is going to play really good. I just needed to be there when he was what we call struggling, making pars, so it was fun.”