The 15th was dramatic, if not pivotal, in Austin and Mickelson's match as well. After Mickelson stuck an iron shot to within eight feet, Weir pushed his approach into the greenside bunker. Advantage, U.S. But Singh holed the bunker shot, drawing the biggest roar of the day, and Austin missed the putt. The International team was 1 up.
But Austin made a clutch putt at 16 to halve the hole, and Mickelson rolled in a 15-footer for birdie at the 17th to square the match. Then came the conceded putt and the tie at 18.
Zach Johnson, in a replay of his chip on the 72nd hole at the Masters, rolled a bunker shot to within inches at the 18th to clinch a 1-up victory with Stewart Cink over Rory Sabbatini and Trevor Immelman.
Tiger Woods was Tiger Woods, and he got some timely help from Charles Howell III, who made a 15-foot par putt to win the 16th and a short birdie putt at the 17th for a 3-up win over K.J. Choi and Nick O'Hern.
There were multiple non-heroes for the Internationals. Sabbatini, with the match level, pulled his tee shot into the lake at the 18th hole, which led to a bogey and defeat. Angel Cabrera, 1 down with Ernie Els at the 18th, pushed his drive into a fairway bunker, and Els missed a four-footer for par that would have won the hole and halved the match.
The capper for the International squad came when Stuart Appleby pulled his 3-iron approach to the 18th into a row of trees well left of the green. Forced to take an unplayable lie, Retief Goosen dropped and played their fourth shot from among the hospitality tents beyond the trees. Goosen didn't get his wedge shot onto the green. They lost the hole, and the match.
Adam Scott was asked if the International players were feeling down about their opening-round effort. "Not so much down," he said, smiling grimly, "as pissed off."
Day Two promises to be just as interesting.