STRAIT TALKIN’: The battle for seats resembles a cheese-rolling contest… while the expected rain failed to materialize as Team USA got off to a good start
- There was a battle for seats when the gates opened at 6am on Friday
- It was a frenetic scene similar to the Cooper’s Hill cheese rolling contest
- A woman is believed to have suffered a broken ankle on the slippery slope
- Terrifying amounts of plastic can be seen on the Whistling Straits track
- The predicted rain did not materialize what should be a dry Ryder Cup weekend
The vying for seats around the first tee when the gates opened at 6am had to be seen to be believed. Desperate for a seat in the 3,000-seat grandstand, hundreds — who had queued for hours — veered off the course path and onto a grass bank in an effort to beat the ones ahead of them.
In a frenzied scene akin to the Cooper’s Hill cheese-rolling contest, dozens of people sprawled out on the slippery slope.
A man, in sky-blue trousers, ended up covered in mud and without a shoe. However, the outcome was worse for a woman who fell to the ground and suspected a broken ankle. She was on the grass for 15 minutes and received medical attention.
There was a frenzy to get to the first tee at the 3,000 capacity grandstand
It resembled a cheese-rolling contest on Cooper’s Hill (pictured) as fans spread out on the slippery descent
Sky have brought about half of their normal crew to Wisconsin due to Covid restrictions and difficulties getting here.
The broadcaster is aided by the presence of hosts NBC, who are also Comcast-owned.
Recycling seems like a dirty word at Whistling Straits with terrifying amounts of plastic.
There are no trash cans to be seen and in the gigantic megastore every purchase – regardless of size – is packed in a giant plastic bag.
Elsewhere, the press is taken by bus from their hotel to a parking lot about 100 meters from the media center.
However, they are forbidden to walk the short distance and instead be put on another shuttle bus for a journey totaling one minute.
Team USA got off to a good start at the Ryder Cup opening session on Friday
The hoodie isn’t going anywhere, with the likes of Brooks Koepka wearing the much-talked-about garment on a chilly first morning.
Waistcoats and collared sweaters were also on display, with the Americans admittedly looking smarter in their predominantly navy blue and white uniforms than the light blue and yellow worn by Europeans.
A chilly 9°C greeted the players on the first tee, although by the time the later groups left, the mercury had risen to 23.
The predicted rain and wind did not materialize on an almost perfect first day. Saturday promises to be a little colder, but dry again, with highs of 18, while Sunday looks set to be a new belter, with sunny highs of 23 predicted.
Golfers, including Brooks Koepka, opted for a hoodie on a chilling Wisconsin morning
IMPORTANT MOMENTS OF THE FIRST SESSION
13:05 (UK): Sergio Garcia opens the 43rd Ryder Cup with a bad shot – the ball disappears into a bunker on the left. Justin Thomas responds by hitting a perfect drive down the middle, but the 28-year-old ends up missing a simple putt and the hole is cut in half.
2:01 pm: Jon Rahm drops a sensational nearly 60-foot putt on the fourth hole to score a birdie and give him and Garcia one against Thomas and Jordan Spieth. The European pair will not be left behind from this point.
3:05 PM: Europe’s veteran couple Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter fall five behind Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele after five holes.
3.16 pm: After Thomas misses a six-foot putt to win the ninth hole, Spanish duo Rahm and Garcia’s brilliant play sees the European duo rise by three in 10th.
3.34 pm: Brooks Koepka misses a five-foot putt and European couple Lee Westwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick take the ninth hole to complete their game against Koepka and Daniel Berger.
3.50 pm: Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa birdie the 11th at two against Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland.
4.50 pm: After hitting the rough on the 17th, Spieth fantastically chips the ball back onto the green at a near vertical angle. He steps off the bank and the whiplash effect causes him to run backwards and he struggles to stop his momentum before nearly landing in Lake Michigan! Thomas, however, misses the simple putt that follows and Europe claims the first point of the game.
4:53 PM: Westwood has a 10-foot putt to win the 15th hole and put him and Fitzpatrick down just one, but he misses and Europe can only cut the hole in half, so they are left two with three to go.
5:01 PM: Morikawa seals the 16th hole to watch him and Johnson beat Casey and Hovland. It gives the US their first point.
5:14 p.m.: Poulter misses a long birdie putt and American couple Cantlay and Schauffele take the point in that game. USA lead 2-1.
5:22 p.m.: Westwood misses a putt to take his and Fitzpatrick’s game to the final hole, so much to the delight of the home viewers, the USA finish the foursome 3-1.
Rresults in Friday’s foursome
- Jordan Spieth & Justin Thomas lost to Jon Rahm (Spa) & Sergio Garcia (Spa) 3&1
- Dustin Johnson & Collin Morikawa beat Paul Casey (Eng) & Viktor Hovland (Nor) 3&2
- Brooks Koepka & Daniel Berger beat Lee Westwood (Eng) & Matt Fitzpatrick (Eng) 2 & 1
- Patrick Cantlay & Xander Schauffele beat Rory McIlroy (N IrE) & Ian Poulter (Eng) 5&3