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Last Updated: Friday, 22 September 2006, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Woods & Furyk strike blow for US
Montgomerie/Harrington v Woods/Furyk (USA won 1up)

World number one Tiger Woods
Woods gradually played his way into form at the K Club

Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk earned the United States' first point of the Ryder Cup with a one-hole win over Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington.

Woods started poorly and relied on the steadfast Furyk to hold the fort although Europe went one up at the 7th.

But Europe's fine play from tee to green was undermined by crucial missed putts, letting the US off the hook.

Woods rediscovered his touch as the US went three ahead, and Europe's comeback over the remaining holes fell short.

The world number one set the tone for a disappointing early display in the fourballs by sending his opening tee shot into the water.

RYDER CUP BLOG
Our blogger Matt Slater from the course

And important missed putts at the 5th and 7th suggested more Ryder Cup grief was in store for Woods.

But Furyk held his nerve impressively in the early stages, and his nerveless putt put the US one ahead after the opening hole before a Harrington birdie at the 4th levelled the scoreline.

Europe went in front with a Montgomerie par at the 7th, but the US - with Woods back to somewhere near his best - won four of the next five holes to open a three-hole lead.

Montgomerie made a birdie at the 14th to close the gap, and Harrington followed suit at the 16th but Europe's brave attempts to force the issue over the remaining holes did not bear fruit.

Europe's Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington
Montgomerie and Harrington pushed the US pair all the way

Woods paid tribute to his partner's display, admitting that Furyk had held things together at the start of the match.

"I was struggling early on," said Woods.

"I didn't warm up particularly well and I was in the water at the very first hole. But Jim was solid early on and I started to hit some better shots towards the middle of the round.

"It was great to have a steady partner like Jim who was in at just about every hole."

Meanwhile, Montgomerie was in no doubt as to where the match was lost.

"We simply didn't make enough putts," said the Scot.

EUROPEAN RYDER CUP TEAM

 

US RYDER CUP TEAM

 

SEE ALSO
Ryder Cup: Friday photos
22 Sep 06 |  Golf


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