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Ryder Cup 2012: US, Europe tied after initial matches

Keegan Bradley of the US enjoyed his first Ryder Cup match Friday morning, while Tiger Woods continued to struggle.

By Nancy ArmourAssociated Press / September 28, 2012

USA's Keegan Bradley reacts after making a putt to win the hole during a foursomes match at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill.

Charlie Riedel/AP

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Medinah, Illinois

Keegan Bradley made the Americans look good.

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Even Tiger Woods.

Bradley put on an impressive show in his Ryder Cup debut Friday, helping the U.S. salvage a 2-2 tie with Europe in the foursome matches. He made four big birdie putts, including a 15-footer to clinch his and Phil Mickelson's 4-and-3 upset of Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald. It was the Europeans' first loss in alternate-shot play; they had been 4-0 together, and Garcia had a career record of 8-0-1.

"He played some of the best golf and to be his partner was an awesome experience," Mickelson said. "I love, love playing with this man. He's just so fun, loves the game and plays with such excitement. And man, can he roll the rock."

As the winning putt rolled into the cup, Bradley let loose with a scream that could be heard all across Medinah while his caddie twirled the flag stick like a baton. Bradley pumped his fist, and he and Mickelson exchanged a hand slap and a hug.

Captain Davis Love III sent the duo out in the afternoon to face Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, Europe's top team, in fourballs.

"You need momentum on your side and, unfortunately, we didn't have it today," Garcia said.

Neither did Woods and Steve Stricker, who were in trouble from the first tee and fell 2-and-1 to Ian Poulter and Justin Rose for their third straight loss in match play. The two had little time to dwell on the loss, however, facing Lee Westwood and Nicolas Colsaerts in the final afternoon match.

European captain Jose Maria Olazabal sent McIlroy, the world No. 1, and McDowell, who delivered the winning point two years ago, out first in hopes they would get Europe off to a quick start. His plan appeared to be working, as an unfavorable relief ruling on the second hole fired the Northern Irish duo up. Two holes later, McIlroy chipped in from behind the green for the first of four straight birdies.

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