GLENEAGLES, Scotland – It’s 10-6 going into the final day of the Ryder Cup – again.
This time, Europe’s in the lead and it’s the United States needing a stunning Sunday comeback.
Two years after the “Miracle of Medinah,” where Europe overcome a 10-6 deficit to win 14 1/2-13 1/2, the home team leads by the same score after dominating the foursomes matches at Gleneagles on Saturday.
But Europe, too, knows what it’s like to throw away a 10-6 lead. Back in 1999 in Brookline, the U.S. overturned that same score to win 14 1/2-13 1/2.
Europe, which has captured seven of the last nine Ryder Cups, needs four points from today’s 12 singles matches to retain the trophy and 4 1/2 points to win it outright.
“We know it’s possible,” Europe star Justin Rose said. “The finish line is nowhere near yet. Still have 4 1/2 points to earn tomorrow. That’s four or five guys that need to go out and play great golf, and that’s nearly half the team. So the way I see it, we have some work to do.”
The Americans said they are up to the challenge.
“Everyone in our team room believes that we can do that,” U.S. rookie Jordan Spieth said. “They have to win 4 1/2 points out of 12 matches. Brookline was 10-6, Medinah was 10-6 the other way. Hopefully, we get some good pairings and some guys out early to go make a move.”
Saturday’s play began with Europe leading 5-3. The United States won 2 1/2 points in the morning fourballs to cut the lead to 6 1/2-5 1/2.
Then the Europeans seized command in the afternoon, winning three of the alternate-shot matches and halving the fourth. It was the second day in a row Europe grabbed 3 1/2 points from the foursomes.
The morning session featured a record-breaking performance by Rose and Henrik Stenson, who finished with 10 straight birdies to beat Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar 3 and 2.
The European duo’s 12-under score was a Ryder Cup record in fourballs. The 21-under total for the two pairings was also a record.
“It’s hard to reflect on it when you’re playing, but 21 birdies in 16 holes between us, that’s something special,” Stenson said. “It might be a highlight to put on the big screen with the grandkids one day.”
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