• US will lead going into Sunday’s final session
• 3-1 fourballs win gives Davis Love’s men the advantage
• Looking to end a run of three consecutive Ryder Cup defeats
Having seen their 4-0 lead from the opening session of the match trimmed to just 6½-5½ by lunchtime on Saturday, and then wiped out completely when Rory McIlroy, below, and Thomas Pieters defeated Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka 2&1 in the first match of the afternoon fourballs, the US hit back, winning the last three matches of the day to lead 9½-6½ at the conclusion of play.
Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar saw off Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia 2&1 to restore the Americans’ advantage, before Lee Westwood missed a short putt at the 18th that would have salvaged a half-point for he and Danny Willett against Ryan Moore and JB Holmes.
That left one match on the course, contested by Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed of the US and Europe’s Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. An inspired Reed produced eight birdies and an eagle on his own card to carry them to a 2&1 win. It gave them their fifth point as a partnership in the Ryder Cup, equalling the all-time US record set by Gardner Dickinson and Arnold Palmer.
“Patrick is as good as anybody on the big stage” – Jordan Spieth
“It’s very special to do that – but we’re just getting started,” said Spieth.”But what a day it was. We needed our best stuff and I rode Patrick’s back like nobody has ever ridden a partner before. He is as good as anybody on the big stage and it was a lot of fun to be a part of.”
Reed, above, added: “I live for this kind of stuff. Any time I can get in front of these fans and wear the red, white and blue, I’m so energised.”
The Americans’ advantage is half a point less than they held going into the final session at Medinah in 2012. On that occasion, Europe produced a remarkable, miraculous fightback to retain the trophy. They’ll need to do something similar, in the face of a hostile, partisan crowd, if they are to make it four wins in a row in golf’s premier matchplay event.
The USA or Europe – which team will be holding the Ryder Cup at the conclusion of play tomorrow night? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below.