Tiger ready for first-tee tension and big crowds at Ryder Cup

Patrick Reed

The event started in 1927 as the United States against Great Britain, with teams made up of players from England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands winning two of the first four Ryder Cups. In the fourballs, each player plays their own ball and the lowest score on the hole wins it for their pair. "The match is only six holes in and we're only all square", Reed told reporters after the first practice day at Le National Golf.

As for the monster first tee stands, far bigger than anything ever built before for the Ryder Cup and dwarfing the neighbouring stand for the 18th, was an opportunity they couldn't resist, says Bjorn.

"The British love affair of Team Europe is unique", said Mark Thompson, managing director of global sponsorship management firm SponServe.

"I reached out to him and just talked to him about Augusta", said Thomas, who has practiced alongside Woods in what could be a hint at Jim Furyk's plans to play them together.

Jordan Spieth spoke minutes later and said he had no idea what Watson was talking about. When you have great players like Tiger and Phil, they have a tendency to not want to chum it up with other golfers.

"It's a nice boost for everyone, and I think for Tiger in general", Furyk said.

"I think we would both welcome it", said Mickelson, who has grown closer to Woods since they began work on a USA Ryder Cup task force in 2014.

"We could hear it on the putting green, which was right next to the first tee, but when you get on the first tee, you could actually feel it".

"Once I got on to that first tee at Celtic Manor on Friday morning, I thought, "Oh, this is a little different than I expected".

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Mickelson then caused a small stir by saying he and Woods would welcome another chance to play together, even though their 2004 partnership at Oakland Hills resulted in two losses and plenty of ridicule in the years that followed. "It's going to be an awesome environment", Woods said.

Earlier, in the Monday Morning Foursomes, the US picked up wins from Canon Claycomb and Ricky Castillo (4&3), Lucy Li and Erica Shepherd (5&3), and finally William Moll and Cole Ponich (2-up). "If I ever get that figured out, I could be unsafe", he said. "There's no atmosphere in golf that compares with the Ryder Cup and we are thrilled to be able to make this "bucket list" golfing experience a reality for so many YGT customers".

"I take it as a huge compliment, I think, more than anything else", said Poulter, who holds an impressive 12-4 with two halved career record and is unbeaten in five singles matches. I'm not really from Texas, so we don't wear a lot of 10-gallon hats in Pennsylvania.

That hasn't stopped us from winning eight of the last 11 Ryder Cups. That didn't last long, especially when it came to the social media network that Europe is using this week. When they finished, Rahm was on the massage table and had fallen asleep because of jet lag. "But I felt this time around, I really wanted to make the team".

Rahm laughs telling the story and says all bets were off at that point.

"The first tee is going to be just so much fun", Reed said.

Ian Poulter, a veteran of five Ryder Cups, has taken the rookies under his wing at the start of this week, making sure they feel comfortable in the team room and giving them little bits of advice like bringing waterproofs to the photo shoot early Tuesday.

(7.55am BST): Open champion Francesco Molinari and rookie Tommy Fleetwood are up against Patrick Reed, self-styled "Captain America", and a revitalised 14-time major victor Tiger Woods.

Woods has not won a Ryder Cup match since a 4&3 victory over Italy's Francesco Molinari at Celtic Manor in 2010, going winless in 2012 at Medinah and missing the past two Cups with back issues.

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