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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 September, 2004, 01:19 GMT 02:19 UK
USA bid to bounce back

Phil Mickelson
The USA have dropped Phil Mickelson for Saturday's fourballs as they seek to fight back after Europe opened a 6-1 lead on the first day of the Ryder Cup.

Tiger Woods, who lost twice with Mickelson on Friday, will now partner debutant Chris Riley against Darren Clarke and European rookie Ian Poulter.

Europe's Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington maintain their partnership.

Paul Casey and David Howell make their debuts while Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood will join forces once again.

Mickelson was left out after he and Woods, the so-called 'dream team', lost a three-shot lead to Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood in the afternoon foursomes.

The forlorn Mickelson hit his final drive of the day against the out-of-bounds fence to hand Europe victory.

American captain Hal Sutton could not explain the Masters champion's collapse, saying: "We're all scratching our heads on that. We'll all want answers on that.

"But the most important person that's going to have to wonder about that is going to be Phil Mickelson."

Sutton was fuming after Europe opened a record-breaking lead and expects a more disciplined display from his star-stuffed team on Saturday.

"We made history. You know, they played great and we played very poorly.

We are striving for 14 points and we are almost halfway there
Bernhard Langer

"I hate to say this but, if the Americans keep this up, it won't be long before they are considered the underdog, instead of the favourite.

"I think the Americans have got to start playing for themselves. They have got too much going on.

"What I see out there is too much tightness. I see Americans wanting to do it too much. I see free-wheeling from the Europeans," he said.

European skipper Bernhard Langer had no such problems on a dream debut as captain.

"I'm so proud of the boys - they played awesome," said Langer. "To beat the top pairing and to beat them twice is tremendous.

"We have something to build on. We are striving for 14 points and we are almost halfway there."

However, Harrington, who was in the 1999 team which squandered a 6-2 first-day lead, told Europe to expect the hosts to come roaring back on Saturday.

"They are going to have something to prove and will come out with all guns blazing," he said.

Garcia also warned his team-mates of complacency, saying: "This is only the beginning. This is only the first day and we need to play this way on Saturday.

"We have to put ourselves in a good position going into the singles. We have to realise it's not finished."


SATURDAY FOURBALLS

Haas/DiMarco v Garcia/Westwood (1310 BST)

Woods/Riley v Clarke/Poulter (1325 BST)

Casey/Howell v Furyk/Campbell (1340 BST)

Cink/Love III v Montgomerie/Harrington (1355 BST)




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