US Expands On Ryder Lead

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 19, 2008 6:00 PM CDT
Europe's Miguel Angel Jimenez hits out of a trap during their four-ball match at the Ryder Cup golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, in Louisville, Ky., Friday, Sept. 19, 2008.    (Chris O'Meara)
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(Newser) – The Americans have built their biggest opening-day lead at the Ryder Cup in nearly 3 decades, losing only one match today to go up 5 1/2-2 1/2 over defending champion Europe, the AP reports. Justin Leonard and Ryder Cup rookie Hunter Mahan won both their matches. Phil Mickelson teamed with another rookie, Anthony Kim, to halve a morning match and win a full point in the afternoon.

Ian Poulter and Justin Rose provided the only win for the Europeans, beating Steve Stricker and Ben Curtis 4 and 2. Otherwise, the day belonged to the Americans, who had four outright wins and halved three other matches. The United States has its largest today lead since 1979, the first year all Europeans were allowed to compete.