Europe take vital lead into first Monday finish

2013 08 Europe

The home side have the advantage as Ryder Cup singles get underway

Europe staged one of the greatest comebacks in Ryder Cup history to take a three-point lead over the United States going into the last day singles matches.

Having been down 6-4 ahead of the penultimate session, the pairing of Luke Donald and Lee Westwood led the European charge, defeating Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker 6&5 in their foursomes match.

Northern Irish duo Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell then levelled the match, before fourball victories for Padraig Harrington and Ross Fisher, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Peter Hanson, and Ian Poulter and Martin Kaymer gave Europe a commanding 9½-6½ lead.

The Molinari brothers were the only pairing not to record a win, but secured a brave half-point on the final green of their match with Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar.

Had the Italians triumphed, it would have meant the first clean sweep since the home side won all four Saturday fourballs at The Belfry in 1989.

Sunday's play didn't begin until 1.30pm due to heavy overnight rain with organisers already playing catch-up from a similar seven-hour delay on Friday.

This forced the singles matches, normally played on Sunday, to carry over until Monday for the first time in the event's 83-year history.

Despite the difficult weather conditions, European captain Colin Montgomerie was full of praise for his team following their performance.

"All credit to everybody in that team today," said the Scot. "I have always said it takes 12 to try to win a Ryder Cup and all 12 on that course today performed brilliantly.

"In my time, and it's been, what, 20 years since I first started playing in the Ryder Cup, I truly believe that that was one of the greatest days for European golf that we have had.

"To turn a two-point deficit into a three-point lead was quite amazing today. All credit to everybody."

Play resumes this morning, with Europe requiring five points from 12 singles ties to regain the Ryder Cup.

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