Davis Love, captain of the American team, decided to rest Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley for the Saturday afternoon fourballs, and European captain Jose Maria Olazabal would have been forgiven for letting out a sigh of relief. The pair had earned their team three points from three matches and set the all-American tone for the first half of this Ryder Cup.
There would be no immediate relief for Europe though, because as one Ryder Cup rookie sensation jumped off the birdie train and onto the cheerleading cart here at Medinah – in Bradley – another rookie hopped off the cart to take care of the birdies – Webb Simpson.
After Bradley and Mickelson had demolished Lee Westwood and Luke Donald in the morning foursomes, 7&6, Masters champion Bubba Watson and Simpson, the reigning US Open champion, took just 14 holes to dispose of Justin Rose and Francesco Molinari, 5&4, with Simpson leading the charge with seven birdies over an 11-hole stretch.
While Watson and Simpson lost to Rose Ian Poulter in the Saturday morning foursomes, this pair of 2012 major winners have looked invincible in fourballs, having also won 5&4 on Friday, against Paul Lawrie and Peter Hanson.
“Playing with our own ball we got in our rhythm,” said Watson after the defeat of Rose and Molinari. “I did the par-fives and Webb did the rest.”
“I’m so comfortable with Bubba in best-ball, because I know he is going to make so many birdies,” said Simpson. “I wish I could play with him in every major championship because he keeps me calm and laughing and that’s what I need out here. I tend to take it too seriously, so having him makes me play better.”
“I’ve been saying all along that my rookies aren’t rookies,” said Love on Saturday evening, in reference to the Tour experience of Bradley, Simpson, Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker. “Webb is not scared to go out there, and Keegan has just been on fire. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group of guys play so well. They’re just on a roll.”
Article courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, the official car of the 2012 Ryder Cup