The beaten Tiger Woods could only hail the sensational debut performance of Nicolas Colsaerts which condemned the former world number one to his second defeat of day one of the Ryder Cup.
Colsaerts, the only rookie on the European team and one of Jose Maria Olazabal's captain's picks, carded eight birdies and an eagle to carry Lee Westwood to a vital one-hole victory over Woods and Steve Stricker in the afternoon fourballs.
And although Woods improved hugely after also partnering Stricker to a morning foursomes defeat to Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, the 14-time major winner narrowly missed a birdie chance on the 18th to snatch half a point.
"Nicolas probably had one of the greatest putting rounds I've ever seen," said Woods, who lost twice on the opening day for the fourth time in seven cup appearances.
"We had a chance to get all square on the last hole and I missed it.
"I didn't play very good this morning at all. I was hitting it awful and not doing anything well. But I hit it good this afternoon. I drove it great this afternoon and was in position, but we ran into a guy who just made absolutely everything.
"Sean (Foley, his coach) and I talked about my swing at basically half-time and made a few adjustments, and I really hit it well this afternoon, but as I said, we ran into a guy who made everything today. I don't know what he shot. He was like seven-under through 10. I quit counting after that."
US captain Davis Love subsequently dropped Woods for Saturday morning's foursomes for the first time in his Ryder Cup career, and admitted he thought about doing so for Friday afternoon, but added: "We considered changing for sure, but I had some good inside information and thought once they started playing better ball they would get back on their games.
"I think Colsaerts was close to nine or 10 under on his own ball. That's unbelievable golf and that's usually what it takes to beat Tiger Woods."
Victories in the first three fourball matches meant the home side take a 5-3 lead into the second day and Stricker added: "We've got a two-point lead after the first day, so off to a good start.
"We (he and Woods) didn't contribute anything today, but we've got a couple more days yet so we can't hang our heads."
In contrast, Phil Mickelson claimed two wins alongside rookie Keegan Bradley against two of Europe's top pairings, overcoming the previously unbeaten Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald in foursomes and Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell in fourballs.
"We had a good time, played well and it was really fun for me to play with Keegan," Mickelson said. "He's just got a lot of great energy. He hits a lot of great shots and he drives the ball as well as I've ever seen a person drive it."