For the second day in succession, the USA won the morning fourballs session 2½-1½ to reduce Europe’s Ryder Cup lead to just one point ahead of this afternoon’s foursomes.
Paul McGinley’s side leads the contest 6½-5½ after Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter salvaged a half-point in the last match of the session against Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker.
This followed an earlier third consecutive win for Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, who took down Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson in the opening match of the day.
The US, though, hit back with wins for Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan, against Lee Westwood and Jamie Donaldson, and Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth, who were convincing winners against Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjorn
Bryce Ritchie and Michael McEwan re-cap an absorbing morning's golf at Gleneagles.
Ryder Cup :: Day 2 :: Saturday Fourballs
Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson
won 3&2 against
Matt Kuchar & Bubba Watson
Nine birdies in 16 holes should normally be enough to defeat your fourball opponents. Not, though, if you happen to be playing Rose & Stenson. The Europeans continued their hot pairing at Gleneagles today in scintillating fashion by scorching the course in 12-under (better ball) – via 12 birdies - a new Ryder Cup record. Taking the best ball of the two-combined pairs, the fourball went round the PGA Centenary Course in just 49 blows after 16 holes. If they had continued and parred 17 and birdied 18, they would have shot 56. The Ryder Cup has never witnessed such a standard of golf. BR
Jamie Donaldson & Lee Westwood
lost 4&3 to
Jim Furyk & Hunter Mahan
The US pairing of Furyk and Mahan posted a better-ball score of nine-under-par as they took apart a disappointingly off-form Westwood and Donaldson. A birdie at the first by Mahan gave the Americans a lead that they maintained right through to the end. For Furyk, the win was just his second in 11 fourball matches in the Ryder Cup. Mahan, meanwhile, was his 16th different partner in the match – a new Ryder Cup record. MM
Thomas Bjorn & Martin Kaymer
lost 5&3 to
Patrick Reed & Jordan Spieth
After being controversially benched by US captain Tom Watson following their fourball heroics yesterday morning, Reed and Spieth showed their captain the error of his ways by destroying Bjorn and Kaymer. Despite falling two behind after three, the US rookies – the youngest combination in Ryder Cup history – rallied to birdie seven holes out of 11 from the fifth onwards, closing out their second big win of the week. Indeed, neither of the Texas duo’s matches has gone made it as far as the 16th tee. MM
Rory McIlroy & Ian Poulter
Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler
Postman Poulter finally decided to deliver at Gleneagles by chipping in at the par-4 15th for a half then winning the 16th with a birdie, completed with the expected vein-popping celebration. The Europeans were never down until the 13th, where they fell to a Walker birdie. The American duo, clearly rattled by the heroics of Poulter on 15 and 16 – Fowler duffed a chip Mahan-style on 16 – then criminally failed to find the green at the par 17th and lost their lead. Rory, playing the 18th for the third time in three sessions, found the greenside gunk with his approach after Fowler nipped his out the semi-rough to 15ft. McIlroy recovered and chipped to gimmie distance. Fowler couldn’t hole his eagle putt and the match – described by Butch Harmon as ‘Gladiatorial’ – ended in a deserving half. “We were down for most of the back nine,” said McIlroy. “To get a half with Rickie and Jimmy, who have been a good pairing this week, is a good thing.” BR
Ryder Cup 2014 :: Stat of the Session
Rickie Fowler's missed eagle putt at the last hole of he and Jimmy Walker's match with Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter means he is still looking for his first-ever Ryder Cup victory.