In match one, Tennis ace Novak Djokovic, paired with G4D Tour player Kipp Popert, struck an excellent opening tee shot which set the scene for a 3-1 win against Ferrari Formula One driver Carlos Sainz, and Italian G4D Tour player Tommaso Perrino – both of whom enjoyed strong local support. Djokovic even managed to drive the iconic short par-4 16th.
Speaking about the victory, Montgomerie said: “Playing in the Ryder Cup was such a big part of my life and my career and today has really taken me back there. I was actually getting a little bit emotional coming down the 18th and it was a real privilege to captain such a talented team of all stars.
“It was also amazing to see the support from the crowds who were fantastic all the way round. This was the first time I’ve played this golf course and it’s a true risk and reward test, so the Ryder Cup is set up perfectly for a dramatic contest. Corey has always been an incredibly tough competitor to face, so it was nice to be able to get one up on him today.”
Novak Djokovic said: “My partner, Kipp, really delivered his A-game today and is such a talented player and so inspiring. Overall, I’m pleased with how I played. I haven’t had the chance to practice too much coming into today, but I hit a good opening tee shot which really settled the nerves and I managed to play some good holes. The crowds were amazing and it was a really fun experience.”
Gareth Bale added: “I thoroughly enjoyed that. With big crowds following us, there were some nerves there, but I’ve played a few pro-ams before so knew what to expect and that helped. Monty was on top form today and really led from the front. The rough was pretty penal, so I had a few tough shots when I missed the fairway, but I hit a good shot on 16 and got up and down for birdie, so that was a good memory to take away.”