Europe captain Olazabal keeping it simple in Ryder comeback - Chicago Tribune
MEDINAH, Illinois (Reuters) - Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal said he had a simple message to deliver to his Ryder Cup team on how they can come back from a 5-3 deficit after Friday's opening-day play. Play better."What we need to do is just step it up and play better golf tomorrow," Olazabal said. "Simple as that."
The Spaniard's team battled the U.S. to a 2-2 split of the morning foursomes matches at Medinah Country Club, but were overwhelmed in the afternoon fourball matches.The Americans won the first three matches before Belgian rookie Nicolas Colsaerts saved them from a whitewashing with a brilliant performance to outduel Tiger Woods.
"Obviously, not the day we were expecting," Olazabal said. "Especially in the afternoon.
"Things didn't go our way. I think we faced two really hot pairings the first two matches.
"Bubba (Watson) and Webb (Simpson) played extraordinary well," he said about the American duo who combined to be 10 under par in the fourballs.
"Then in the second group, I think Keegan was really hot today. He was full of confidence. He played extraordinary golf."
Watson and Simpson walloped Scotsman Paul Lawrie and Peter Hanson of Sweden 5&4. Bradley and Mickelson were 2&1 winners against world number one Rory McIlroy and his fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell.
Americans Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar beat Englishman Justin Rose and German former world number one Martin Kaymer 3&2, before Colsaerts and Lee Westwood saved Europe from being shut out with a one-up win over Woods and Steve Stricker.
"I think in the afternoon session, we just faced players that were more inspired than us and played better golf than us," Olazabal said.
"Obviously we are going to have our players' meeting tonight after the boys have rested and have dinner, we will address what happened today. I'm going to make it clear to the boys that they need to step it up. They need to play better golf.
"Simple as that."
Olazabal turned aside questions on why he sat Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia in the afternoon, especially since Poulter had helped beat Woods and Stricker in the morning.
"I wanted to have every player play during the first day," he said. "And obviously in order to do that, you have to drop some of those players that have played in the morning.
"I don't want to wear out my top players before Sunday."
Olazabal, stressing simple truths again, said: "There is no secrets about this game. You have to make more birdies than your opponent. And if you don't do that, you're going to struggle."
One Europe player who got the message was easy-going Belgian rookie Colsaerts, who made a magnificent Ryder debut by posting eight birdies and an eagle to carry English partner Lee Westwood along for a win.
Olazabal said he had a plan for 2010 PGA Championship winner Kaymer, who did not post a single birdie in his fourballs loss.
"I think he's trying a little too hard," the captain said. "I think he needs to loosen up a little bit. We will get him loose tonight."