Ryder Cup 2014: Europe take 10-6 lead over United States from BBC Golf
Ryder Cup 2014: Final day coverage on the BBC
|Venue: Gleneagles Date: Sunday, 28 September Start time: 11:36 BST|
|Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on Radio 5 live, online, tablets, mobiles & BBC Sport app from 11:00. Highlights: BBC Two 19:30-21:30.|
Europe lead 10-6 heading into Sunday’s Ryder Cup singles after a one-sided penultimate session at Gleneagles.
Europe won Saturday afternoon’s foursomes 3½-½ to move to within four points of retaining the trophy.
Paul McGinley’s men lost the morning’s fourballs 2½-1½ before making it 7-1 in foursomes matches over two days.
However, the US led by the same margin after two days at Medinah in 2012, only for Europe to stage a comeback and clinch a remarkable win.
Saturday’s fourballs results (Europe first)
|Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson beat Bubba Watson & Matt Kuchar 3&2|
|Jamie Donaldson & Lee Westwood lost to Jim Furyk & Hunter Mahan 4&3|
|Thomas Bjorn & Martin Kaymer lost to Patrick Reed & Jordan Spieth 5&3|
|Rory McIlroy & Ian Poulter halved with Jimmy Walker & Rickie Fowler|
The US also came back from 10-6 down to win 14½-13½ at Brookline in 1999.
Europe have won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups, while the US have not won an away match since 1993.
“We are not finished. We have a lot of work to do and we have to be on it in the morning,” said Europe captain McGinley, who was a vice-captain in Chicago two years ago.
US captain Tom Watson, who left Phil Mickelson out for the entire day for the first time in 10 Ryder Cups, said: “We have come back from 10-6 before. They know it and I’ll reiterate it.
“Our rookies played some magnificent golf and we have the players to come back.
“Credit to the Europeans, they played some great golf. It seems the foursomes is their forte.”
Victories for Lee Westwood and Jamie Donaldson, Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson and Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy built Europe’s cushion before Martin Kaymer and Justin Rose rescued a half on the 18th to keep the home side unbeaten in the afternoon.
Golf correspondent Iain Carter at Gleneagles
|“Paul McGinley has completely out-thought his opposite number Tom Watson. While the US have looked tired and ineffective in both afternoon sessions, Europe have been a fresh and vital force.
“McGinley has employed an intelligent and inspired plan and his man-management has been spot on. By contrast Watson has made tactical errors.
“Benching Phil Mickelson, when the team’s unofficial ‘leader’ was desperate to play, made little sense when so many of the Americans were clearly exhausted in a second successive foursomes rout.
“The respective captains have named predictable batting orders, but it is difficult to see Europe squandering their deserved and commanding advantage.”
And it was at the final hole in Saturday morning’s fourballs that McIlroy and Ian Poulter secured another vital half to keep Europe in front when the US threatened to draw level with two big wins.
A Ryder Cup record 21 under from Rose and Henrik Stenson in a thrilling 3&2 win against Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar also checked the US resurgence.
Selected to go straight back out despite losing 4&3 to Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan in the morning, Westwood and Welsh rookie Donaldson, 38, won their second foursomes point with a 2&1 victory over Zach Johnson and Kuchar.
One down after four, one up after seven and all square after eight, Westwood and Donaldson eased clear with a birdie at the ninth and remained in front until sealing the victory on the 17th.
“It was hugely satisfying,” said Englishman Westwood, who is now the joint-fifth most successful player in Ryder Cup history. “It’s tough to win a point in the Ryder Cup.”
Westwood, 41, has scored 23 points in nine Ryder Cups and leapfrogged the late Seve Ballesteros to move level with American legend Arnold Palmer.
“To move above Seve is something I guess you just don’t ever imagine doing,” an emotional Westwood told reporters.
“He’s such a legend. I’ve always said the Ryder Cup is not about individual points totals, it’s about winning the cup for Europe, but to be among names like that is obviously very satisfying.”
Another point in Sunday’s singles would put Westwood joint-second with Germany’s Bernhard Langer, with only Sir Nick Faldo ahead of them on 25 points.
Most Ryder Cup points won
|Figures correct at end of play on 27 September|
|25: Sir Nick Faldo||23½: Colin Montgomerie|
|24: Bernhard Langer||23: Arnold Palmer|
|23½: Billy Casper||23: Lee Westwood|
McDowell and French rookie Dubuisson were impressive on their debut as a foursomes pair on Friday and they carried on where they left off with a powerful 5&4 win against one of Watson’s go-to pairs, Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler, who had earned three halves in their three matches together this week.
The European duo went ahead on the second and stayed clear throughout, reaching five up on the eighth and again on the 13th. When their tap-in was conceded for the victory on 14, Dubuisson and McDowell were five under par.
Saturday’s foursomes results (Europe first)
|Jamie Donaldson & Lee Westwood bt Zach Johnson & Matt Kuchar 2&1|
|Victor Dubuisson & Graeme McDowell bt Jimmy Walker & Rickie Fowler 5&4|
|Sergio Garcia & Rory McIlroy bt Jim Furyk & Hunter Mahan 3&2|
|Martin Kaymer & Justin Rose A/S with Jordan Spieth & Patrick Reed|
“It’s been so much fun playing alongside this man this week,” said McDowell. “He might be the best player I’ve played with since Rory McIlroy.”
World number one McIlroy and third-ranked Garcia were never behind against Furyk and Mahan and completed Europe’s third win of the afternoon.
Kaymer and Rose, who had already won three points, trailed impressive US rookies Patrick Reed, 24, and Jordan Spieth, 21, for much of the round.
Reed missed a three-foot putt on the 16th that would have put the US one up, although the American pair birdied the 17th to go down the last with a narrow lead.
But Kaymer’s bunker shot set up Rose to win the hole with a birdie and steer Europe closer to a third consecutive Ryder Cup triumph.