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Ryder Cup 2014:Tom Watson or Paul McGinley, Which Captain Has the Edge?

Here’s your quick and subjective guide to which captain is giving his team the edge at the 2014 Ryder Cup.

BEST USE OF HEAVY HITTERS: Check out the video of Sergio Garcia at right to see how things were going early on for Captain Paul McGinley’s main event pairing of Garcia and Rory McIlroy, courtesy of @golfcentral daily:

Sergio rallied to drain a long birdie putt on the next hole – a theme that repeated itself later in the day when Rory holed a huge birdie in the afternoon session to turn the tide in a match against Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker. Rory's putt came as he and Sergio looked poised to go 0-2 in the opening round. Instead, the birdie strike helped them halve the foursome match and pick up a valuable half point for the European team. We still wonder why Rory inexplicably put a new driver into play. He had problems finding the fairway as Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley won, 1 up, in the morning four ball. Still, the late-afternoon comeback for a half-point moves the needle toward Mr. McGinley, ever so slightly.

EDGE: Paul McGinley

BIGGEST SURPRISE: As we soothsayed yesterday, rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed had no problems with Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher in a 5 and 4 victory. The surprise came when Watson left them on the bench for the afternoon session despite them lobbying to play again.

(GALLERY: Check Out the Best Photos From the Ryder Cup)

McGinley skillfully mixed and matched his pairings. Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell, who leads the PGA Tour in strokes gained putting, were a particularly inspired twosome. They rolled past Mickelson and Bradley, 3 and 2, to help the Europeans dominate the second session. Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, playing together for the first time, went 2-0.

Paul Crawford

EDGE: Paul McGinley

THE VERDICT: The scoreboard doesn't lie. Europe turned in a typically dominant second session to take a 5-3 lead after the first day. The team leading after the second session has won 60 percent of the time since 1979. McGinley has his team right where it wants to be.

EDGE: Paul McGinley

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