Europe takes a commanding lead into the final day of the 2014 Ryder Cup after another wonderful showing in the foursomes
Europe takes a commanding lead into the final day of the 2014 Ryder Cup after another wonderful showing in the foursomes.
Paul McGinley’s men battled back to draw the morning session 2-2 – coming up against an aggressive and determined American unit – but repeated yesterday’s heroics in the better ball format to lead 10-6 with one session remaining.
There will still be an air of caution, however, as that was the deficit Europe managed to overturn at the Miracle of Medniah two years ago.
Still, the fact that performance was labeled a ‘miracle’ indicates the size of the task at hand for Tom Watson’s Americans.
In the morning fourballs, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson rekindled their successful partnership to take on Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar.
Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood went up against Hunter Mahan and Jim Furyk and Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjorn played Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed.
In the final match, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter combined to do battle with Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler.
The Americans played well in the first match, but Rose and Kaymer shot a combined 13-under-par for 16 holes to win 3&2.
Furyk and Mahan never trailed Donaldson and Westwood, and were never really threatened en route to a comfortable 4&3 victory.
Bjorn and Kaymer were 2up early on against the young American rookies, but Spieth and Reed surged back to claim a resounding 5&3 win, leading many to question why they hadn’t been employed in the Friday foursomes.
In the last match, USA looked poised to move two clear with four to play, but Ian Poulter – a man clearly out of form – produced a moment of magic, holing-out from short of the green on 15 to change the momentum of the match.
Europe won the 16th with a Poulter birdie and halved the next two holes with their American counterparts to add another half point to the European tally.
Westwood and Donaldson were retained for the afternoon foursomes, and joined on the course by Rose and Kaymer, McIlroy and Garcia and McDowell and Dubuisson.
The British duo secured victory on the 16th hole – Westwood moving past Seve Ballesteros’ Ryder Cup points tally in the process – and McIlroy and Garcia both registered their first wins of the event over Furyk and Mahan (5&4).
At that point, it looked like a European clean sweep was on the cards, and McDowell and the impressive Dubuisson closed out a rather beleaguered looking Walker and Fowler 5&4 moments later.
Still, Europe were embroiled in a battle in the third match, and Rose was forced to hole a gutsy five footer to preserve his unbeaten record and take a half point off Spieth and Reed, who missed an 18-inch putt on the 16th.
It leaves America with a mountain to climb, but memories of Medinah, plus Brookline in 1999, will be instilled in their minds this evening.
Sunday singles line up:
McDowell v. Spieth
Stenson v. Reed
McIlroy v. Fowler
Rose v. Mahan
Gallacher v. Mickelson
Kaymer v. Watson
Bjorn v. Kuchar
Garcia v. Furyk
Poulter v. Simpson
Donaldson v. Bradley
Westwood v. Walker
Dubuisson v. Johnson