Europe cling to slender lead

2014-09-27 14:42
Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy (AFP)

Gleneagles - Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy have rallied to halve their Saturday morning Ryder Cup fourball match with Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker to give Europe a 6 1/2 to 5 1/2 overall lead.

A clutch Poulter pitch in for birdie to halve 15 and a birdie to win the 16th and square the match blunted a US fightback after the Americans began the day trailing 5-3.

Europe's Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson defeated Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar 3 and 2, the winners making birdies on the final 10 holes for a victory that gave Europe a 6-3 overall lead.

But the Americans answered as Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan downed Europe's Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood 4 and 3 and rookies Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth beat Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer 5 and 3, setting the stage for the last-match drama.

Saturday play will conclude with four afternoon foursomes matches that will set the stage for Sunday's 12 final singles matches.

The Europeans need to take 14 points to retain the trophy they have held since 2008 while the Americans need 14 1/2 to win for the first time on European soil since 1993.

The Americans lead the overall rivalry 25-12 with two drawn but Europeans have won seven of the past nine and seek their sixth victory in seven tries.

Results after Saturday's morning fourball matches at the 40th Ryder Cup:

Europe 6 1/2 United States 5 1/2
Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson (Europe) bt Bubba Watson/Matt Kuchar (USA) 3 and 2
Jim Furyk/Hunter Mahan (USA) bt Jamie Donaldson/Lee Westwood (Europe) 4 and 3
Patrick Reed/Jordan Spieth (USA) bt Thomas Bjorn/Martin Kaymer (Europe) 5 and 3
Rory McIlroy/Ian Poulter (Europe) halved with Jimmy Walker/Rickie Fowler (USA)

Friday Foursomes
Jamie Donaldson/Lee Westwood (Europe) bt Jim Furyk/Matt Kuchar (USA) 2-up
Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson (Europe) bt Hunter Mahan/Zach Johnson (USA) 2 and 1
Rory McIlroy/Sergio Garcia (Europe) halved with Jimmy Walker/Rickie Fowler (USA)
Victor Dubuisson/Graeme McDowell (Europe) bt Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley (USA) 3 and 2

Friday Fourballs
Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson (Europe) bt Bubba Watson/Webb Simpson (USA) 5 and 4
Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed (USA) bt Stephen Gallacher/Ian Poulter (Europe) 5 and 4
Thomas Bjorn/Martin Kaymer (Europe) halved with Rickie Fowler/Jimmy Walker (USA)
Keegan Bradley/Phil Mickelson (USA) bt Sergio Garcia/Rory McIlroy (Europe) 1-up


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