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Big days from Bradley, Bubba give U.S. lead

By Doug Ferguson

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Sept. 29 2012 1:10 a.m. MDT

Europe has won six of the last eight times in the Ryder Cup, and it wasn't about to hang its head after one day. It was leading all four of the opening matches early Friday under a gloomy sky. The sun came out, and the Americans came to life.

"There's a long way to go in this tournament," Rose said. "There's ebbs and flows. Obviously, there's momentum for the U.S. team right now, but that could all swing back in our favor tomorrow."

Even so, the Americans headed to their team room full of confidence. It won five of eight matches without getting a point from Woods, and they picked up a little extra momentum when Mickelson and Bradley took down McIlroy, the No. 1 player in the world.

The Ryder Cup again lived up to its billing as the most exciting tournament in golf with relentless action, huge swings in momentum and endless cheers.

Bubba Watson asked the crowd to keep chanting and cheering when he stepped to the tee for his afternoon fourballs with Webb Simpson, and the Masters champion belted his drive down the middle, raising his driver to play to the crowd. Then, the Americans did a number on Paul Lawrie and Peter Hanson, going 6 up through eight holes and closing them out on the 14th hole.

Matt Kuchar ran off four straight birdies as he and Dustin Johnson built an early lead against Rose and Martin Kaymer.

The only rookie who didn't deliver a point was FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker, though it wasn't from a lack of effort. Snedeker and Furyk were 3 down through 12 holes against McIlroy and McDowell in the morning when they put together a furious rally, with Furyk carrying the bulk of the load. They squared the match going to the 18th when Snedeker hit a drive toward the hospitality tents well right of the fairway, and Furyk couldn't convert a 20-foot par putt to halve the match.

Ryder Cup Day 1 results

UNITED STATES 5, EUROPE 3

Foursomes

Europe 2, United States 2

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, Europe, def. Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker, United States, 1 up.

Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, United States, def. Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia, Europe, 4 and 3.

Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson, United States, def. Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari, Europe, 3 and 2.

Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, Europe, def. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, United States, 2 and 1.

Fourballs

United States 3, Europe 1

Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, United States, def. Paul Lawrie and Peter Hanson, Europe, 5 and 4.

Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, United States, def. Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, Europe, 2 and 1.

Lee Westwood and Nicolas Colsaerts, Europe, def. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, United States, 1 up.

Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar, United States, def. Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer, Europe, 3 and 2.

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