Team USA in sight of Ryder Cup triumph
By Allan Kelly ,AFP
October 1, 2012, 12:12 am TWN
CHICAGO, Illinois -- The United States maintained a stranglehold on the 39th Ryder Cup on Saturday, winning the foursomes and sharing the fourballs to leave Europe trailing 10-6 at the end of the day.
That left Davis Love and his men in prime position to retain the trophy they lost agonizingly at Celtic Manor, Wales two years ago.
It left Europe needing to match the record last day comeback set by the U.S. team at Brookline, Massachusetts in 1999 when they won from four down.
Saturday afternoon's fourballs ended with two wins for Europe as darkness fell after the Americans had won the first two on the back of dominating the morning foursomes 3-1.
To retain the cup on Sunday, Jose Maria Olazabal's men need to win eight out of the closing 12 singles, a highly unlikely scenario given that the Americans have habitually been stronger on the final day.
The Americans need just four and a half points to get past the winning post.
Mission impossible as concerns Europe for some, but U.S. crowd-pleaser Bubba Watson said there was still plenty fight left in the European team.
“The team is not going to lay down. Europe is not going to lay down. They are not going to give it to us. We have to play good golf and come out focused and ready to win some points,” he said.
Love said he would continue with the approach he has had all week telling his 12 players to relax and have fun.
“All I'm going to stress to them is — all you can do is just go win your match, and you can't think about the outcome of the day and what the other guys are doing, and we don't want to talk about how many points we need or what it's going to take to win. We just want to go play.” he said.
The home team took up early Saturday where they left off Friday evening with one hand round the European throats as the star duo of Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley once again led the charge.
Their 7 and 6 thumping of former world No. 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald equaled the highest ever 18-hole winning margin by a Ryder Cup pairing, and the first time such a drubbing had been handed out since 1991.