Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose were an unbeatable duo on day one of The Ryder Cup. In the morning fourball, they crushed Watson and Simpson 5&4. In the afternoon foursomes, they were AS through 14, and continued their dominance with a 2&1 victory over Mahan and Johnson.
“It was a great day at the office. I felt that all along. I was very happy to partner up with Justin,” said Stenson. “We know each other well since before, even though we never played together in events like this. But I felt comfortable with Justin by my side, and we played even better in the afternoon than in the morning.”
The ending to the afternoon match was a rough one for the Americans. On the par-three 17th, Johnson’s tee shot landed next to the hole, and rolled just off the green to about 20-feet for birdie. Rose hit his tee shot to about 30-feet, and Stenson putted up 3-feet for par. Knowing that a birdie would even the match, Mahan rolled the 20-footer with authority, but powered it through the break, and left Johnson with a 5-footer for par. Johnson missed the comebacker, and the Europeans secured the point.
“Man, I tell you what, we just played great. We put the ball in the fairway for the most part, gave ourselves a lot of good looks. Couple of missed puts, couple of great opportunities that we didn’t capitalize,” said Johnson. “They made a lot of nice putts, long putts. That was really what took it.”
Expect to see Rose and Stenson paired again tomorrow. Rose said he is prepared to play in all five rounds, and that is not a good sign for the Americans, who must overcome a deficit once again at The Ryder Cup.