Tiger Woods happy to be with Steve Stricker in Illinois
By Allan Kelly ,AFP
September 29, 2012, 12:01 am TWN
CHICAGO, Illinois -- Tiger Woods expressed his satisfaction at resuming his partnership with Steve Stricker in the opening foursomes of the Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on Friday morning.
Playing in his seventh Ryder Cup, but first on U.S. soil in eight years, Woods and Stricker will go out in the fourth and final of the opening foursomes up against English pair Justin Rose and Ian Poulter.
Woods had struggled to find a steady partner in previous Ryder Cups, but hit up an understanding with quiet man Stricker at Celtic Manor two years ago when they won two and lost one going on to have success also in the Presidents Cup.
“Yeah, Strick and I are very comfortable together,” Woods said.
“We've had some pretty good success over the years, and we both have been playing well.
“Our captain said that would be a good fit, and he wanted us out there to anchor. We've got a great match up in Rosey and Poults.”
Asked what he thought about going out in the fourth and final match of the morning, having played in the lead match in each of his first four Ryder Cup appearances, Woods said that he had been “all over the place.”
“I've been first, second, third and fourth. It's just a matter of what our captain thinks is best for the team,” he said.
“In either case, we've got to go out there and earn our point for the team. That's what Strick and I are going to try to do tomorrow.”
Phil Mickelson, who plays with rookie Keegan Bradley against unbeaten Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia, said he would aim to feed of the energy of his younger partner, just as he did with Anthony Kim four years ago at Valhalla, Kentucky.
“We have a very difficult match against Luke and Sergio,” he said.
“Luke has I don't think ever lost in foursomes and we are hopefully going to change that. But we are really excited about the matchup tomorrow and we are excited to get the matches started.”
Former world No.1 Donald, who has lived in the Chicago area for the last 15 years, said that he and Garcia were close friends and ready to defend their unblemished record.
“I'm really looking forward to it. We've obviously both got unbeaten records in foursomes and we have played well together in the past.
“We've got a great record together and it should be a great match against two very good players in Phil and Keegan.”
The match between Europeans Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari against Americans Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson is a clash between two brand new pairings with the Italian the only surprise selection from skipper Jose Maria Olazabal.
“It's fantastic for me and a huge honor for me to play with Lee, a guy playing his eighth Ryder Cup. He has more experience than anyone else and it is a great feeling to be paired with him,” he said.