Captains at logger-heads in Ryder Cup 'spin' game

Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:46pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

CHASKA, Minnesota (Reuters) - U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III and European supremo Darren Clarke showed off their skills as master motivators and polished spin doctors after Friday's see-saw opening day of action at Hazeltine.

The Americans, desperate to end a ruthless run of three successive victories by Europe, stormed to a 4-0 sweep of the morning foursomes before the Cup holders fired back by winning three of four fourballs matches to whittle down the U.S. lead down to 5-3.

So, is it better to take a two-point lead into the second day of the three-day event after squandering a four-point lead, or is it better to have seized the momentum even if your team trails on the scoreboard by two points?

The answer is yes, according to the dueling captains.

"Obviously happy to be 5-3," said Love. "It was a good start. It was a good day. Proud of our guys."

Clarke was pleased as punch with his team's standing.

"As I'm sitting in my seat right now, in the position we were in at lunch time, I would definitely say it's better to have a small deficit with some momentum, because we didn't have much at lunch time.

"That's golf. That's match play," the Northern Irishman said. "Certainly we managed to wrestle some of that back to the European side this afternoon."   Continued...

Sep 30, 2016; Chaska, MN, USA;  Jordan Spieth of the United States and  Patrick Reed of the United States talk with Team USA captain Davis Love III in the morning foursome matches during the 41st Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports