By Paul Mahoney
Saturday, September 20, 2008

Nick Faldo is not nuts after all. He's a genius. Shame on everyone who doubted Europe's Special One. Of course it was the work of a master tactician to bench Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood on Saturday morning. They weren't dropped; they were resting. It's obvious now.

\nOf course it wasn't crackers to send Oliver Wilson out for his debut in the foursomes with the struggling Henrik Stenson. Of course that Z Team wouldn't be dispatched by the A Team of Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim. Sheer genius from Faldo.

\n"I was ecstatic when I saw the pairing," Wilson said after holing a 25-footer to secure his first point. "I felt like I had been waiting all year to hole that putt. I did a lot of that as an amateur but just haven't been able to do it in my pro career. To come on top against guys like Phil and Anthony was awesome for the team."

\nWilson must have added "awesome" to his vocabulary during his college days at Augusta State, where he became the best player in the school's history. "We used to have parties, and there was good banter with the Americans," Wilson said. "But it's strange. They expect to win because they're the 'greatest country in the world,' obviously. But when they don't, it's 'our guys suck.'"

\nThis season has been Wilson's best yet, with seven top-10 finishes that helped him make Faldo's team. But, as he is frequently reminded, he is the only player on either side without a tour title. But now he has the win against Mickelson and Kim in his Ryder Cup debut.

\nThe Americans stormed to a 4-up lead after six holes, but the Europeans never gave up.

\n"The Americans were probably banking on that point. We almost had nothing to lose. We were thinking that people were thinking that pairing us probably wasn't a very good idea," he said, grinning.

It looks like a fine idea, now. Who said Faldo was bonkers?

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