HEXHAM, England – Well, I've been saying for weeks that it was really important for our team to get out to a fast start. 6-2 seems pretty fast to me.
Actually, after the Friday morning foursomes session, I was a bit concerned that momentum had turned against us. I really wanted a 3-1 lead after the first session and for most of the morning, it seemed I'd get my wish. But like we all knew they would, the GB&I team showed some great fight and talent, and took a late match and point that left us tied 2-2 going into the afternoon four-balls.
So for the afternoon, I reminded our team about being patient; they would be facing different pairings in a different format and all it took was hitting a few good shots at the right time to really build a wave of confidence and wins. It's exactly what happened and we have a lead.
I could not be more proud of every member of our team. The talent on the GB&I squad is really incredible, and for us to sweep the afternoon matches is mind boggling. I could tell you about how each team member played an important part, but that would take a book – not just this blog post. But all 10 guys played a big part of our Friday success. They deserve all the credit.
Someone asked me if it felt "great" to have a 6-2 lead. My answer is – of course, it does. Why? Because if we were down four points, we wouldn't feel so good about it. But as I told the team at the end of the day, in no way can we let up. This is a three-day event and we've only finished one day. They can just as easily do to us what we did to them on Day 2. So expect us to come out firing and ready tomorrow. We know the GB&I team will.
A number of people have asked me to share my strategy for getting my team ready. To them, I say: "No." Actually, I'm happy to share this. Our pairings were based on players who could not only complement each other on the course, but also would enjoy being around each other. I was going to ask them to spend a lot of time together, really getting to know each other's games (example, how far they hit each club so they could help each other on clubbing certain yardages), but also their personalities. The ability for these guys to motivate, encourage and support each other has been phenomenal.
They also have a great support group from The PGA of America. One of the PGA officers or leaders has accompanied every group, making sure they have what they need to feel comfortable on the course. Sometimes it's crackers, sometimes it's a sweater, sometimes it's a bottle of water. The PGA Cup is a team event, and that team extends beyond just the guys hitting the shots and every member of the team is contributing as of day one. From the players’ and officers’ wives, to our championship staff to caddies and hotel staff dedicated to our team, we are in very good hands. I think that showed today as well.
So yes, it's nice to have a good start. But tomorrow, in my mind, we're back to 0-0 and we have to fight and claw and, more importantly, chip and putt to have another good day. I'm so grateful for all the well-wishes people from around the world have sent me via email, Facebook and Twitter. Our team feels and needs that support. So please continue to follow along and let others know, Team USA is proud to represent you and doing all we can to do it well.