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Ryder Cup live updates: United States takes a 6-2 lead as Tiger Woods motivates from afar

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The Ryder Cup is an every-other year sporting event pitting the best golfers in the United States against the best in Europe. After a one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ryder Cup is back and is being held at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Haven, Wisconsin. The event starts Tuesday, Sept. 21, but the competition itself begins Friday, Sept. 24, and ends Sunday, Sept. 26.

Check below for updates as Journal Sentinel and USA Today Network-Wisconsin reporters and photographers cover the often star-studded golf tournament.

US has its largest Day 1 lead in 46 years
Day 1 is in the books. And the United States has a huge lead at 6-2. The margin is the biggest first-day advantage for the Americans in the Ryder Cup since 1975.

The U.S. won both the morning and afternoon sessions by 3-1 scores.

Play resumes at 7:05 a.m. Saturday with four “foursome” matches in the morning session and four “four-ball” matches in the afternoon session beginning at 12:10 p.m.

Gates open at 6 a.m. Saturday.

  • Christopher Kuhagen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Tiger motivates a hot Ryder Cup rookie
One of the game’s all-time greatest golfers probably was not going to play in this Ryder Cup, but Tiger Woods was definitely going to be at Whistling Straits as one of Steve Stricker’s vice captains. Woods’ rehabilitation from an April car crash kept him away from the U.S. team this week, but his presence has loomed large. Stricker and the players have talked about how communicative Woods had been throughout the prep process, and then rookie Xander Schauffele revealed Friday they received another inspiring message from the 14-time major champion.

“We had a nice message from Tiger (Thursday) night and obviously not going to reveal what it said, but Pat (Cantlay) and I knew,” Schauffele said after he and Cantlay won their morning foursomes match. “We referred to it a few times a day, and we knew what we needed to do.”

Schauffele then teamed with Dustin Johnson in the fourball format and helped the U.S. put up its second point of the afternoon matches with a 2&1 victory over Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger. The combination of Tony Finau and Harris English beat Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry 5&3 to put the U.S. up 4-1.

“We knew he was fist pumping from the couch,” Schauffele said of Woods. “Whether he was on crutches or not, he was – he’s as fired up as any back at home. So it’s nice to have his support.”

– Jim Owczarski, Journal Sentinel

Michael Jordan is at the Ryder Cup and pumped up by Dustin Johnson
You know you’ve done something special when you impress Michael Jordan.

The NBA legend made an appearance at Whistling Straits on Friday – inside the ropes, of course, and not among the masses of fans.

TV cameras caught the global icon getting pumped up after Dustin Johnson sank a birdie putt on No. 11.

Fans at Whistling Straits scrambling for good sight-lines
A tall dune near the fifth hole at Whistling Straits.
With the throngs of golf fans crowding the ropes around the holes at Whistling Straits, it can be hard for people to get a good view of the action.

You can always stake out a spot on the later holes and wait for the action to come to you. Or you might have VIP-access to some of the tents that have overlooks along fairways.

But fans who like to wander around need to get creative to see over the crowd.

Many take advantage of the tall sand dunes on the Pete Dye-designed course. With a good pair of binoculars and the right dune (like this one near No. 5), you can see a lot of the action. Be careful of the footing though as some fans (and golfers) have slipped on the inclines.

A fan cheering on Europe uses a hunting periscope to see over the crowds.
Sometimes you have to resort to technology. An enterprising trio of Irish fans – decked out in nifty blue-and-yellow suits to support Europe – brought along hunting periscopes to peer out over the masses.

  • Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Europeans first on the board but US took 3-1 lead into afternoon session
Sergio Garcia started off the Ryder Cup by teeing off at Whistling Straits a little past 7 a.m. Just about four hours later, Garcia and foursome teammate Jon Rahm claimed the first point of the competition for Europe.

It looked like Garcia and Rahm were going to cruise to victory after going 3-up through 11 holes. They could have clinched the point on No. 16, but the American team of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas were able to prolong the match.

The Americans couldn’t maintain momentum to force an 18th hole. After Rahm missed a putt that could have ended the match, Spieth had an incredible shot off the hillside from 25 feet away that he almost holed.

But Thomas missed a putt and Europe finally put the match away, 3&1. The victory was Garcia’s 23rd in the Ryder Cup, lifting the Spaniard into a tie with Nick Faldo atop the all-time list.

Not long after that match ended, the United States got its first point when Collin Morikawa and Dustin Johnson beat Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland, 3&2.

With 28 available points at the Ryder Cup, the first team to 14 ½ wins. The U.S. led after the morning foursome session, 3-1.

Ryder Cup officially underway
After such a rousing start to the morning in the grandstands, it was striking to hear total silence when Europe’s Sergio Garcia took to the first tee as the Ryder Cup opened with foursomes. After ripping his drive, there came a cascade of boos.

That turned to cheering as Justin Thomas got set to tee off.

Again the quiet was eerie.

But as soon as the ball was hit, the grandstands were ignited with noise again.

Thomas egged on the fans, pumping his arms as he headed down the fairway.

The Ryder Cup was officially underway.

  • Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Golf

Tiger’s style upgrade, Morikawa’s engagement and the ultimate golf……

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1. Collin Morikawa and Katherine Zhu get engaged
Collin Morikawa may have lost his five-shot lead on Sunday at the Hero World Challenge and pushed back his opportunity to become World No. 1, but it was still a week to remember for the 24-year old. Morikawa got engaged to longtime girlfriend Kat on November 30th and shared the news via Instagram.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kat, here are some fun facts about her:

a) She’s Canadian! Kat is from Vancouver, but will hopefully root for Team USA in the Presidents Cup. Only time will tell.

b) She’s a REALLY good golfer. Kat played golf at Pepperdine University, where she maintained a scoring average of 76.54. Check out her swing:

c) She and Collin have a REALLY cute dog named Koa. They even have an Instagram account for their pup, who appears to be living quite the life.

The guy’s had it all in 2021: a major championship victory, a Ryder Cup win and … someone to personally curate his playlists for him. And a silver lining for the future Mr. and Mrs.: there’s no question what the highlight of young Collin’s week was. Congrats, you two! And shoutout to Keith Pelley for respecting the proposal embargo.

2. The latest TaylorMade shoot post
Attend a major. Play a few top courses. Tee it up overseas. Make an ace. These golf bucket list items are good, but I have set my heart on something even better (and significantly less likely to happen). I want to attend a TaylorMade shoot, and I’m about to convince you why you should, too.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall here! First off, the TaylorMade staff is stacked — Tiger, Rahm, Rory, Morikawa, DJ, the list goes on. Watching these guys yuck it up in a no-pressure situation is the dream of every golf social manager. And if last year’s TaylorMade Christmas card won’t convince you … well then, I don’t know what to tell you.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas, from #TeamTaylorMade! pic.twitter.com/2ec6Z71EVX

I can’t wait to see what Team TaylorMade came up with for this year’s card.

3. Viktor Hovland at the airport.
There are a handful of things in this life I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand: fax machines, trigonometry and, most pressingly, Viktor Hovland’s social media presence. He’s not on Twitter, but his Instagram is equal parts confusing and hilarious.

Anyway, I stumbled across this tweet last week and didn’t think much of it… until he won the Hero World Challenge on Sunday.

It’s incredible how down to earth Twitterless Victor is. Just saw him at Nassau airport. The girl behind hm asked what he did.

Hovland: ‘I live in Oklahoma and play a bit of golf’.

Come on! You are actually the world No9!!!#HeroWorldChallenge

Viktor Hovland, four-time PGA Tour winner, plays “a bit of golf!” I love it. He’s now the No. 7 player in the world. That’d be like Taylor Swift saying she writes “a bit of music.” Or Leo DeCaprio saying he “does a little bit of acting.”

The fact Viktor went out and won the event a few days after this happened makes it even better.

4. Kisner and JT’s college football bet
I love when pro golfers get into sports rivalries on Twitter. Alabama played Georgia on Saturday, which meant one thing: Justin Thomas and Kevin Kisner would have some type of bet going on. When Georgia lost in 2018, Kisner had to wear an Alabama jersey during the Sony Open. This year’s bet was a little more tame, but still entertaining:

The pros are just like us when it comes to college football! (Well, not like me because I don’t really follow it, but lots of other people do.)

5. Tiger (duh!)
More Eldrick content! After months of silence from him, it’s a treat to see (and hear!) so much of him over the last week. From his press conference to his driving range exploits, Golf Twitter has exploded over his every move. Dissecting a golf swing isn’t my forte, so I’ll stick to what I know best: social media posts.

First, let’s take a look at these photos from Long Drive pro Martin Borgmeier earlier in the week and then Tiger on Sunday.

He’s jacked! The man has come a LONG way in terms of recovery. He went from being unable to walk to being able to swing in a matter of months, but he’s also come a long way in terms of style and I’d like to highlight that here.

Now, I’m no fashionista (particularly not after working from home for the last 20-something months), but I do think it’s safe to say there’s been a lot of growth here. He’s gone from the ultimate baggy dad-fit (nothing wrong with that!) to a trimmer, more tailored fit, which makes him look younger and more stylish. Bravo.

And finally, I’ll leave you with this post. I have no idea what to make of it, but it feels worth sharing. I’d love to know what DJ and Usain discussed at this event. Anyways, I’ll see you all next week.

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Tiger Woods One Piece of Advice to his Son ‘Charlie’ That Could Help all…….

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Ahead of Saturday’s PNC Championship, Tiger Woods’ son, Charlie Woods, received some putting pointers from legendary golfer Gary Player on Friday.

While Tiger and Charlie were getting warmed up on the putting green, Player gave Charlie some words of wisdom and encouragement:

The PNC Championship, which was created in 1995 and originally called the Father/Son challenge, is an annual tournament that features 20 major champions playing with a partner—usually a family member.

While the partners have traditionally been the sons of the major champions, it has expanded over the years to see daughters, grandchildren and even fathers, as Justin Thomas’ dad will be his partner this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, all eyes at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida, will be on Tiger and his 11-year-old son since it will represent Charlie’s first true taste of the spotlight.

While Charlie is developing and enjoying success as a junior golfer in Florida, taking part in the PNC Championship means he will be competing alongside some of the best golfers in the world.

His father is among them, and while he figures to pick up plenty of knowledge from teaming up with Tiger, he could potentially learn just as much from the other golfers who will be in attendance, such as Player.

Player is among the all-time greats with nine major titles to his credit, and other multi-time major champions like Greg Norman, Nick Price and Bubba Watson will be there too.

There won’t necessarily be a ton of pressure on Charlie to perform since the PNC Championship uses a best-ball format, but if he can use some of the advice he has gotten to hit some strong shots and even outperform his dad a time or two, it will undoubtedly capture the attention of the viewing audience.

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So Sad: The Power is not there, but i can….says tigerwoods

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According to Golfweek’s Steve DiMeglio, who’s on the ground at Albany in the Bahamas, Woods hit balls on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week. He also joined the television broadcast on Saturday for 30 minutes and discussed how his practice is going.

“I can hit it. It just doesn’t go as far,” Woods said about hitting driver. “The power is not there, but I can hit drivers. I can hit any club in the bag. I’m not at the point where I can hear it land, OK?”

Next week Woods is expected to announce whether he will play in the PNC Championship alongside his son, Charlie, or not. Woods would be allowed to use a cart.

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