Bradley bumps a wonderful chip to a couple of feet. That’s a fine par secured under extreme pressure. McDowell will have to knock in a 15-footer if Europe are to win this match, and win it here. And that’s exactly what he does, setting the ball out a couple of hole’s width to the right, and curling it in, the ball clearly on the correct route halfway along its journey. He raises his arms in triumph. It’s been a fine afternoon for Europe, and not a bad one for Northern Ireland, when you come to think about it.
Walker whips the ball up into the air from bunker, but it lands softly on the green and doesn’t run. Fowler will have a 15-footer for his birdie. It might be immaterial if McIlroy drains this eagle putt. Rory tickles it to the hole side for a certain birdie. Fowler will have to make his birdie putt for the half – and he can’t! A stunning half for Europe! Rory and Sergio ended birdie-birdie-birdie! That’s a huge result for the Europeans. Walker and Fowler didn’t even do anything wrong, and they’ve just suffered an almighty blow.
The true heir to D’Artagnan, Charles de Batz-Castelmore d’Ubuisson, whips his second into 15 pin high, 30 feet from the flag. Mickelson, who was 40 yards nearer the green, can only put his ball next to Europe’s. America need something to happen here, that’s not really good enough. Up on 18, Fowler takes out his 3-wood, and lashes his second into the trap front-right of the green. His ball’s not plugged, so they’ll have a chance of getting up and down from there. But what a shot Sergio makes afterwards! He takes out a fairway wood too, and lands it softly on the back left of the green, leaving Rory a 25-footer for eagle! We’ve had some drama up 18 already today; here’s more! Oh, by the way, the atmospheric cauldron we were promised on this final hole? Gleneagles has delivered.
McIlroy clatters his drive at 18 smack into a tree down the right! What absurd behaviour from Europe off the tee in this match! But the ball takes a bounce to the left and settles in a bare patch of rough. Sergio might have a route to the flag here! Meanwhile Walker, who was surely preparing to shake hands for the win on the last green, batters a less wild, but still not good, drive into the rough down the left. That isn’t so ridiculous, but might be a worse lie. Them’s the breaks. I suppose Rory earned one with that stupendous putt on the last.
Komik kutz on the 14th tee, as Mickelson takes an iron for safety and finds deep rough down the right, and Dubuisson hooks a load of nonsense into the woods down the left. Up on 16, McIlroy chips a delicate third shot to 18 inches, but Walker will have that 12 footer for eagle, and the match. But no, it slides by on the right. A half, and the USA are dormie two in the third game.
McIlroy/Garcia v Walker/Fowler 2 UP (16)
2 UP Dubuisson/McDowell v Mickelson/Bradley (13)
Europe 3½-2½ United States of America
“It’s not black or it’s not white. I had an overall, as I call it, a skeleton plan, and you bob and weave.”
Just one day into the Ryder Cup, the European captain’s bobs and weaves have been countered with backpedaling and sidestepping from his American counterpart.
It doesn’t mean anything yet. It doesn’t mean the European team will definitely win or the American team will absolutely lose. But at a biennial event where analyzing and second guessing and Monday morning quarterbacking are as much traditions as the actual golf, so far McGinley is 1 up on Watson.
Captain Watson reacts to Saturday’s loses and looks towards Sunday http://snpy.tv/1pjKgBW
Team Europe builds a 10-6 lead … same as Team USA at Valhalla two years ago: http://go.pga.com/1vfAjvf
Saturday’s matches are in the books. Complete interactive scoreboard: http://go.pga.com/1vfxHh2
GLENEAGLES, Scotland — Europe seized command of the Ryder Cup on Saturday, winning three foursome matches and halving a fourth to extend its lead to 10-6 going into the final day’s singles.
For the second day in a row, Europe grabbed 3 1/2 points from the afternoon alternate-shot matches at Gleneagles.
The United States won 2 1/2 points in the morning fourballs to cut the lead to 6 1/2-5 1/2.
Twelve singles will be played on Sunday. Europe needs a total of 14 points to retain the trophy and 14 1/2 to win it outright.
The Americans led 10-6 two years ago at Medinah, but Europe pulled off a remarkable comeback to win 14 1/2-13 1/2.
Europe has won seven of the past nine Ryder Cups.
Watch us tomorrow