Europe take control of Ryder Cup
Europe will take a 10-6 lead into the final day of the Ryder Cup after crushing the United States 3 1/2 to 1/2 in the afternoon foursomes at Gleneagles.
Having trailed 5-3 after day one, the US reduced the deficit to one point after the morning fourballs but the momentum was with the home side from early in the afternoon.
Lee Westwood and Jamie Donaldson led the way by beating Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar 2&1 before Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell hammered the energy-sapped pairing of Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker 5&4 in the final match.
An in-form Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia held off Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan to win by 3&2.while Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer clawed their way back into their match late on to halve with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, who let slip a lead on the final hole with Rose sinking the key putt.
Although the US led by the same margin after two days at Medinah in 2012 only to lose the match, it would be an even bigger shock were Europe to relinquish the trophy from this position. The US did come from four points down at Brookline in 1999 but with the number of European players playing excellent golf, a repeat looks a near-impossible task.
Wild card pick Westwood is now the joint-fifth most successful player in Ryder Cup history, having now earned 23 points in nine Ryder Cups to pass the late Seve Ballesteros to move level with Arnold Palmer.
Another point for the veteran in Sunday’s singles would put him joint-second with Bernhard Langer, just a point behind Nick Faldo.
European captain Paul McGinley was delighted with his side’s play, stressing the importance of the team ethic from everyone involved.
“The guys were brave again today, but they produced again,” he said. “It’s been a great team performance. Collectively as a team everyone has pulled their weight and collectively we’ve come together.
“My job as captain is I’m half a day ahead of everyone else. I’ve had my idea of where we’re going with the singles tomorrow and all afternoon I’ve been discussing it with my vice-captains. We’ll discuss it with a few of the players. The eraser has been used a few times!”
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