CHASKA, Minn. — Arguably the morning match that featured the least amount of glitz, it produced what you would have thought given the assembled foursomes specialists — steady and methodical play.
Well, for 11 holes anyway, at which time Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson kicked it into another gear and took care of Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer, 4 and 2.
Having compiled a 9-2-2 foursomes record in his superb Ryder Cup career, Garcia was teaming with Kaymer for just the first time and for a good while they played nicely. They won the second hole with a par, then played the next nine holes with a birdie and eight pars to maintain the edge.
But after starting bogey, bogey, the American team settled down nicely and Walker looked especially comfortable. Still, you wouldn’t get any argument from them — they escaped what could have been a deep hole.
Sitting 1 up, the Euros had putt after putt to build on that edge, but Garcia missed from 15 feet at the 10th, then from inside of 12 feet at the 11th, and when Kaymer missed a putt for par at the 12th, the match was all square.
Going from possibly being 3 down to a 4 and 2 winner happened suddenly and shockingly. After the Euro bogey at 12, Walker rolled in birdie putts at the par-3 13th and par-4 14th, then the Euros combined for another bogey at the par-4 15th.
When at the par-5 16th the Americans made their third birdie in four holes, Garcia and Kaymer were stunned. From seemingly in position to win, they were down and out, having played their 16 holes in a shoddy 2 over.
Johnson improved to 7-6-2 overall in Ryder Cup play, 4-4-1 in foursomes, one of the few Americans to have a positive linescore.