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St. John’s University alumnus Keegan Bradley stole the show in his Ryder Cup debut, pairing with World Golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson to be the only duo to win both of its matches on the opening day of the bi-annual competition, pitting the best golfers from the United States against the best Europe has to offer.
Bradley started the morning session in the alternate-shot foursomes match against Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald, of the European team. Bradley and Mickelson started off strong, winning the second, but Donald and Garcia came back to win the fifth and six holes and gain a 1-up lead. The American duo sent the teams into the turn all-square after claiming the ninth hole.
The match would remain all-square until the 12th hole, as Bradley and Mickelson would go on a tear to win the next four holes to close out the match, 4-up with three holes to play. On the deciding 15th hole, Bradley’s reputation as one of the best clutch putters in the world shone, as he nailed a 28-foot putt for a birdie to seal the win.
After defeating the world No. 2 in Donald, Bradley and Mickelson were again paired together in the afternoon fourball session against World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell. The American duo picked up where it left off, claiming the first three holes out of the gate for an early 3-up lead.
The Americans would extend that lead to 4-up after the eighth hole, before McIlroy and McDowell took the ninth and 14th holes to get the U.S. lead to 2-up with four holes to play.
But the teams would halve 15 and 16 before a tee shot on the 17th by Mickelson landed 2 feet from the hole and was conceded by the Europeans to give the American duo the 2 and 1 win.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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