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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 September, 2004, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
Woods inspires USA victory
Woods/Riley v Clarke/Poulter
(USA won 4&3)

Tiger Woods and Chris Riley
Tiger Woods finally won his first match of the 35th Ryder Cup when he teamed up with Chris Riley to beat Darren Clarke and Ian Poulter 4&3 in the fourballs.

Woods, beaten twice with Phil Mickelson on Friday, made a storming start to help the United States open a two-hole lead over the European duo at the turn.

Riley, inspired by Woods, won two holes in a row to extend the lead to four.

Cup debutant Poulter pulled one back but, with Clarke failing to fire, the Americans won the match on the 15th.

American captain Hal Sutton revealed Woods had tried to rally the stunned home side in Friday night's team meeting following the side's dismal first-day performance.

"I said let's set some goals and Tiger agreed with that and he had a few things to say and we took it from there. He was a little more vocal," said Sutton.

Woods rose to the challenge when play got under way on Saturday and seemed at ease with his new partner.

We had chances on the front nine to get into the match but couldn't buy a putt.
Darren Clarke

"We got it going quickly and made a few birdies. The Europeans couldn't get going and we played really solid golf.

"We had to win this session 3-1 to have a chance of getting some momentum for the foursomes," said Woods.

Riley, playing in his first Ryder Cup, also enjoyed the pairing and seemed to bring the best out of the former world number one.

He said: "We have known each other for a long time. Tiger Woods is a great partner to have - you can't beat playing with him. It was exciting and we played well."

Clarke and Poulter admitted they paid the price for missing putts which could have halted the Americans' progress.

"We had our chances on the front nine to get into the match but couldn't buy a putt," said Clarke.

"We gave the crowd too much to cheer and didn't get the pressure on our opponents. Momentum is a very big thing in the Ryder Cup."

Poulter said: "It was frustrating. We hit some great shots but nothing went in. It was difficult because the Americans got ahead early on and they managed to keep it."



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