Update: 4:35 pm
Play was suspended due to darkness and the seven hour rain delay earlier wrecked havoc on the schedule. The first session resumes Saturday morning at 8am Wales time (3am Eastern) with the Americans up in two matches, all squared in one match and down in one match.
What a difference the sun makes! The Americans were down in three of their four matches when HEAVY rain suspended play for seven hours! When they resumed, the sun was shining and the Americans saw the light! Stewart Cink was on fire! With five birdies in nine holes, Cink and Matt Kucher are ‘two up’ against Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell thru 11 holes. Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton are ‘1 up’ against Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington. Tiger and Steve Stricker are ‘all squared’ against Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher. Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson are ‘one down’ against Lee Westwood and Martin Kimer with six holes remaining.
The schedule was altered a bit with the ‘second session’ expanding to six foursome matches. The third session will comprise 2 foursome and 4 fourball matches. And all of this will be followed by the 12 singles matches. They’ll do everything they can to finish on Sunday but with more heavy rain predicted for Sunday, a Monday finish is likely.
And the American team has arranged for new ‘rain gear’…turns out that the brand they were wearing is not ‘water proof,’ creating more fodder for the British tabloids! My buddy at Club Glove, President and Founder Jeffrey Harold, emailed me and told me he was asked by the PGA of America to rush Club Glove bags to the American team. Turns out the bags they were using are getting wet inside at the bottom as well! The American team should know better!!!
Friday, October 1, 2010: 12pm
Play will resume at 5pm locally (Noon Eastern Time).
As predicted, torrential downpours have soaked this Celtic Manor 2010 course and caused play to be suspended at 9:45 this morning, Wales time.
When play was suspended, the only American team leading their fourball ‘best ball’ match, before they left the course — Ryder Cup rookies Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton. They were ‘two up’ against Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald after two holes. Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, Tiger and Steve Stricker and Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar will all have to turn it around once they resume play. When they resume, Tiger and Steve Stricker will be one down to Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher after three holes. Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar are one down to Rory McIIroy and Graeme McDowell after four holes and Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, who were the first to tee off, are two down against Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer after five holes.
Around 3:30pm Wales time, after hours of horrid weather, the rain stopped. But there were puddles all over the course, in the bunkers, on the greens. The 18th green was submerged with water.
During the seven plus hour rain delay, reports surfaced that the American players needed to purchase new ‘rain gear’ from the merchandising tent because their ‘waterproofs’ as they call them here, the rain gear that they are wearing, are, well, not water proof! You can imagine how the media here in the UK are amused with that story!
Also during the break, members of the European team came out of the clubhouse to sign autographs and joke with the fans. Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell thanked the fans for toughing it out in the wet, muddy conditions. Sergio Garcia made himself available to be interviewed. But there were no Tiger or Phil sightings. Only Stewart Cink, Bubba Watson, Jeff Overton and US Team Captain Corey Pavin spoke to the media. Here are a few excerpts from Pavin’s interview:
I understand The PGA of America have had to buy new waterproofs because the other ones were leaking. Were they not tested? What happened?
COREY PAVIN: Well, we were disappointed with the performance of them, and you know, we just fixed it. They were not doing what we wanted them to do so we went out and bought some more waterproofs.
Q. Enlighten us what your players are doing during this break and how they are keeping themselves busy.
COREY PAVIN: Eating, sleeping, watching TV and that’s about it. There’s really not much else to do up there, just a lot of conversation and a lot of chitchat, and we are just talking about whatever conversation comes up, just to pass the time.
Q. As we have been saying to Monty earlier on, the matches are destined to go into the evening and may not be resolved. Tell us your thoughts on that and keeping your players in the frame of mind in that it’s going to be an awfully long week.
COREY PAVIN: Yeah, it’s going to be a week where we start at dawn and finish at dusk and sometimes that happens. We’ll just keep going and hopefully we can get the whole Ryder Cup in, every match, that’s the ultimate goal, so we will get a proper result, so to speak.
Q. What have you been saying to your players during this break?
COREY PAVIN: I haven’t really had to say much to them. They are all relaxed and just sitting around and like I said, just talking and just waiting. Some are taking little naps and just relaxing.
Q. Obviously as we say, Monty has got the momentum at the moment, the crowd are going to be behind them when they get back out; is your job to silence them?
COREY PAVIN: The crowd will be behind them no matter what’s going on out there. That’s the great thing about playing on your home soil. Guys are just going to go back out there and try to win some holes and get up in their matches and hopefully turn those around.
I’ll write more later.