MEDINAH, ILL. -- On the 18th green of the first morning practice round yesterday, Keegan Bradley made a putt and his friend Phil Mickelson immediately reached into his pocket for what looked like currency (not that wagering is encouraged). Bradley accepted it and waved with it to a roaring crowd at Medinah Country Club.
Mickelson and Bradley are close friends who have the same management company and usually practice together. Today, for the first time, they will officially play as teammates. They will be in the second group of the morning alternate shot matches against Europe's Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia.
In keeping with recent custom, Tiger Woods will play with Steve Stricker. They will go in the final morning match against Englishmen Ian Poulter and Justin Rose. Unlike many other countrymen, Stricker never has been fazed by playing with the greatest player of his generation.
"I think our games are totally different. He bombs it, I'm more of a control player," Stricker said. "But I think our ability to scramble, to get it up and down, to make some putts here and there is our one connection."
Rory McIlroy, the current No. 1 player in the world, will play with fellow Northern Ireland resident Graeme McDowell in the first match, against the hottest player in the world last week, FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker, and Jim Furyk. Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson will play Europe's Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari.
Captain Davis Love has Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson -- two major winners in 2012 -- sitting out the morning session, as well as Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.