Day One At 2010 Ryder Cup Suspended Due To Rain
October 1st, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

The 2010 Ryder Cup managed to get through only two hours of competition in the morning matches of Day One at Celtic Manor in Wales on Friday due to weather.  While all four matches were able to get off in the morning, the last only completed two holes.

Play began at 7:30am local time and was called at 9:45 am.  Play remains suspended, with the grounds crew working to make the golf course playable.

It has been since 1997 that a Ryder Cup was suspended due to inclement weather.

“We will see play again this afternoon,” remarked Mike McClellan, who is the Ryder Cup meteorologist. “I can’t speak for the golf course, but weather-wise we should be fine.”

The golf course at Celtic Manor was constructed specifically for the 2010 Ryder Cup, and, knowing that the potential for rain in October in Wales was virtually immanent, the drainage system is quite efficient.  It is a very quick-draining system which allows for the water to flow away from the golf course.  However for the drainage system to work to its potential, officials needed to rain to stop, for which they were not so lucky.

Ryder Cup officials say that they are already prepared for a Monday finish if that is indeed the case.

“Our people, we feel, probably need about an hour of pushing water to make it better than it was when we started,” stated John Paramor, who is the the European Tour’s head referee. “So that is our goal.”

The rain was a factor from the opening tee shot when the U.S Team of Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson hit the opening tee shots against the European team of Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer.  As it stands, Kaymer and Westwood are 2-up through five holes of play.

In the second group was the American team of Matt Kuchar and Stewart Cink, against Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.  The Europeans lead in this match as well, 1-up through four holes.

In the third group, Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker are facing Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher.  The U.S Team is 1-down through three holes.

The final group managed to get through only two holes, with American Ryder Cup rookies Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton starting out hot out of the gate with two birdies on the first two holes to take a 2-up lead over Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington.

“It’s a shame,” remarked U.S. assistant captain Jeff Sluman. “There’s 10 years of planning that went into this, and we’re held hostage by the weather.”

Those sentiments were shared for the Europeans.

“It’s not fun for anyone, agreed,” European captain Colin Montgomerie said. “But it’s probably less fun for the Americans. In America, when it rains it usually thunders, too, and you can’t play. I just hope it doesn’t get so bad, the course gets so water-logged, that we can’t play.”

As it stands, the European squad was set as a heavy favorite on USA Online Sportsbooks and PGA Tour Betting Lines to win Day One, as they have won over 60 percent of the Four-Ball matches since 1970.  Europe is also the overall favorite to win the 2010 Ryder Cup, going off at -162 on Bodog Sportsbook.  The U.S Team has odds set at +162.

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