GLENEAGLES, Scotland — The opposing Ryder Cup captains, Tom Watson and Paul McGinley, continued to play a chess game with their pairings on Saturday. Both captains made some changes for the afternoon’s foursomes matches after a torrid American rally in the morning.
Watson’s big move was sitting Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley for a second-straight session. Mickelson and Bradley won’t play Saturday at all.
Having been criticized for putting Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed on the bench after their big fourball win Friday, Watson sent the rookies back out again Saturday afternoon after they delivered their second-straight juggernaut win in the morning.
McGinley broke up Europe’s top team, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. They’re unbeaten in three matches and were 12 under par in 16 holes in their fourball win. Stenson reportedly had sore back and needed rest, so Rose teamed up with Martin Kaymer instead while Rory McIlroy re-teamed with the rested Sergio Garcia.
Match 1: Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar, U.S. vs. Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood, Europe. Westwood hasn’t lost any of his Ryder Cup edge. He’s played terrific in two matches, winning one. Kuchar got his groove back Saturday morning but is it enough? The pick: Europe.
Match 2: Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan, U.S. vs. Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy, Europe. Mahan and Furyk racked up birdies in the morning and looked formidable. Rory and Sergio couldn’t find fairways yesterday, and Rory is still struggling. The pick: U.S.
Match 3: Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, U.S., vs. Martin Kaymer and Justin Rose, Europe. The American rookies have won big twice, but Rose is the hottest man in the field. It won’t be easy cooling him off, but Reed and Spieth have attitude. The pick: U.S.
Match 4: Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler, U.S. vs. Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson, Europe. The Americans have gone to the wire in three straight matches and have been stronger than dirt. They have to be a little drained, though, while G-Mac and the Frenchman will be fresh as daisies. The pick: Europe.