Tiger Woods posted five birdies on the back nine for the second straight… (Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images )
MEDINAH, Ill. — After sitting out a Ryder Cup session for the first time in his career, Tiger Woods posted five birdies on the back nine for the second straight day Saturday afternoon at Medinah Country Club.
That didn't stop the Woods-Steve Stricker pairing from dropping to 0-3 after Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald eked out a 1-up victory.
Woods downplayed his sitting.
"That was the plan going in," he said. "I put so much effort into that last match [Friday] afternoon, and I was pretty spent. It was nice to get a little bit of rest. This is way different than Presidents Cup, when you have [play] over four days. Five matches in three days is a lot and, hey, I'm not young anymore."
Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson have injected this Ryder Cup with victories and vigor.
But after tying a tournament mark for largest margin of victory with a 7-and-6 blowout of Luke Donald and Lee Westwood in Saturday morning foursomes, the successful pairing took a seat for the afternoon four-ball matches.
Bradley, 3-0 with Mickelson, had no problem with captain Davis Love III's decision.
"I told [Love] I'd do whatever he wanted," Bradley said. "I wanted to make sure guys got back out there that hadn't played. I would much rather sit and have a guy who didn't play go play because I want everyone to be ready for singles. I'm putting so much emotion into my rounds that it's probably a good thing I'll be rested for [Sunday's] singles."
Mickelson, who played brilliantly in the 12-hole blowout, also agreed with the decision.
"Historically and mathematically, the guys that have played five matches have not done as well in the singles," Mickelson said. "We want to make sure we're rested and focused on the singles. We've got a lot of guys that are playing great golf who need to get out and play as well."
Jim Furyk claimed he didn't call Rory McIlroy "a marked man" during last weekend's Tour Championship, even though a transcript of his interview says otherwise.
"What I said was that in the FedEx Cup, he was the marked man because he was the best player in the world and No. 1 in FedEx Cup points," Furyk said. "Then we started talking about the Ryder Cup in that interview and the headlines the next day were that I said he was a marked man.
"I'm not one to incite the other team. And I'm pretty sure most of them over there know that about me anyway."
Nicolas Colsaerts' magic dried up. One day after carding eight birdies and an eagle, the Belgian Ryder Cup rookie watched several putts lip or spin out. "Most of them were a little hard," Colsaerts said. "They looked good and pure and there were a few that could've dropped. It's very frustrating." ... Ian Poulter did little to change his reputation as a rabble-rouser when he joined Bubba Watson in encouraging the gallery to cheer as he teed off on the first hole. "I'd probably miss the ball," Bradley joked, when asked if he'd try the routine. . . . Former Presidents George Bush and George W. Bush attended.