Monday, February 19, 2018
Sports

Woods to sit this morning

MEDINAH, Ill. — Tiger Woods' Friday ended as it began, with him hunched over in disbelief at the shot that had betrayed him. At least his reaction followed a well-played hole.

Nevertheless, Woods will sit out today's morning foursomes play, per captain Davis Love's decision. It is the first time Woods has been left off the lineup for a Ryder Cup session.

"We just don't want guys to be worn out," Love said. "We need Tiger and Steve (Stricker, Woods' usual partner) in the afternoon and on Sunday.

"I think Tiger needs a rest. I think Steve needs a rest. It's a team effort, and they're supportive friends of mine. They told me they'd do whatever I asked, but I guarantee you, neither one of them are very happy about it."

Woods' 14-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to earn a half-point in afternoon four-ball narrowly slid by, ending his seven-birdie, bogey-free round.

His morning foursomes match featured sprayed tee shots — including one that drew blood from a gallery member — and missed short putts.

"I didn't hit it well warming up, and it carried into my play," Woods said. "(Swing coach) Sean (Foley) and I talked about my swing at basically halftime. We made a few adjustments. I really hit it well this afternoon. But we ran into a guy who made everything."

That was Nicolas Colsaerts, who carded eight birdies and an eagle and carried partner Lee Westwood to victory over Woods and Stricker.

All in: Both captains made sure all 12 of their players got into the game on Day 1, though Europe's Jose Maria Olazabal set himself up for second-guessing when he sat out Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter for the afternoon matches. They have a combined 31-13-5 record in the Cup. Olazabal said his plan was to have every player play during the first day and for his top players to get rested one session before Sunday's singles. Falling behind 5-3 after the first day didn't tempt him to change his mind. "No, we stick to the plan," Olazabal said.

Penalty stroke: American Jim Furyk was given a one-stroke penalty on the 10th hole after reporting himself for a rules infraction during his and Brandt Snedeker's foursomes match against Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell. Furyk was taking a practice swing on the team's third shot, and the ball moved ever so slightly. "I don't remember what I did, but I think I grounded my club and I at least hovered on the grass," Furyk said. The Americans bogeyed the hole to go 2 down in the match and dropped the next hole, too. McIlroy and McDowell eventually won the match 1 up.

Ambience: More than a few golfers talked about how quiet the galleries were early in the day before cranking up the volume. … Among the costumes seen in the galleries: Uncle Sam was a big theme. Five European fans sat together in the grandstand just off the 18th green dressed as European flags in yellow and blue. Two fans were dressed like bullfighters, complete with capes and matador hats.

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