Ryan Moore, whom U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III referred to this week at Hazeltine as “a great addition to our team” and a player who’s “obviously playing great,” will apparently still have to wait his turn to play as Love announced a lineup Thursday for this morning’s foursomes matches that didn’t include the Puyallup native.
Love will start with Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth in the first match at 5:35 a.m. (PDT) against two of Europe’s best in Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.
“We just felt like that first tee atmosphere just fit (Reed) and Jordan to get it kicked off,” Love said.
Love’s second pairing were the popular Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler. He followed that with Ryder Cup vets Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker and finished with Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.
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“We knew Europe is going to put out great teams no matter what we did, so we put out great teams as well,” Love said.
In his first Ryder Cup appearance after years of close calls, the former Cascade Christian standout enters new territory this week. He flew his family home from Atlanta on Sunday and arrived in Hazeltine early Monday afternoon.
So how hectic has the pre-tournament part of this week been?
“It is and it isn’t (hectic); once you get on the golf course you still just get out and play, but there is a lot of stuff going on and we’re doing a lot of things that week in and week out we don’t normally do,” Moore said Thursday after his practice round. “But it’s been very comfortable for me.”
Moore seemed comfortable practicing alongside Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, and J.B. Holmes on Thursday afternoon. In fact, he and Mickelson played some pingpong Wednesday night as well.
“It wasn’t too crazy, but we got like half a game in before he got called away to do something,” Moore laughed.
Moore is no stranger to significant team and match play events, having won multiple amateur match play events while at UNLV and competing in a team setting in the 2004 Palmer Cup. Moore’s enjoying the camaraderie these formats afford.
“It’s great just getting out there and playing with those guys, practicing and really talking to each other,” Moore said Thursday. “We’re talking about the golf course, about shots, about the greens and ‘What do you see?’
“It’s fun, it’s great to get the feedback and kind of hear other teammates’ perspective on it and help me formulate a good plan.”
Because this opportunity was a long time coming on this major stage, Moore’s perception contrasts to the Ryder Cup reality thus far.
“It’s everything and more, you just can’t imagine,” Moore said. “The course and even the fans on a Thursday. It’s crazy out here, incredible support and everyone cheering you on and it’s a pretty incredible feeling on practice days, I can only imagine what (today) is going to be like.”
In the end, Moore defines a successful maiden Ryder Cup week a win for the U.S.
“Success would be the team winning, period,” Moore said. “That’s what we’re all here for. I’d love to add points to that and help facilitate that but at the end of the week, if I didn’t and we still end up on top, we’re still all here as a group to win and bring the cup home and have some fun while we’re doing it.”
Garrett Johnston: @JohnstonGarrett
31st Ryder Cup
Site: Chaska, Minnesota.
Course: Hazeltine National Golf Club (7,628 yards, par 72).
Defending champion: Europe.
Tournament schedule: Friday and Saturday — Morning foursome matches start at 5:35 a.m. (PDT). Afternoon four-ball matches start at 11 a.m. (PDT) Saturday. Sunday – Singles matches start at 9:04 a.m. PDT.
Television schedule: Friday — 5:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on the Golf Channel. Saturday — 6 a.m.-4 p.m. on Ch. 5. Sunday — 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Ch. 5.
Notes: Europe is going for its fourth consecutive victory over the United States, which would be the longest streak in series history. … Phil Mickelson is playing in his 11th Ryder Cup in a row, an American record. He and J.B. Holmes are the only U.S. players to have ever been part of a winning Ryder Cup squad. … The European team has six rookies, most since 2010. … The routing of Hazeltine, which has hosted two U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships, has changed specifically for this event. The front nine will be Nos. 1-4 and 14-18; the back nine will be Nos. 10-13 and Nos. 5-9. … The 2018 Ryder Cup will be played in France in 2018.
Ryan Moore’s schedule Friday: The Cascade Christian graduate was not selected to compete in the morning foursome matches. The players for the afternoon four-ball matches will be announced Friday.
Todd Milles: firstname.lastname@example.org