GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Europe seized command of the Ryder Cup on Saturday, winning three foursomes 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 14 points to retain the trophy and 14 1/2 to win it outright.
The United States led 10-6 two years ago at Medinah, but Europe pulled off a stunning comeback to win 14 1/2-13 1/2. That was branded the “Miracle of Medinah.” The Americans will need their own remarkable Sunday rally to steal the cup back.
Europe has won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups.
The scoreboard was dominated by European blue all afternoon.
Lee Westwood and rookie Jamie Donaldson got the ball rolling, beating Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar 2 and 1 in the first foursomes. After the Europeans took the lead for good at the ninth hole, Westwood made a short birdie putt at the 16th to put them 2-up.
Then, Graeme McDowell and French rookie Victor Dubuisson extended the lead to 8 1/2-5 1/2, beating Ricky Fowler and Jimmy Walker 5 and 4. Dubuisson has won both of his matches in a sensational debut, while Fowler remains without a win in his Ryder Cup career.
The third win of the afternoon came from Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, who defeated Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan 3 and 2. It was the marquee duo’s first win in three matches after two halves.
“It’s nice to put that first win on the board,” McIlroy said.
In the final match, Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer halved with U.S. rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. With the Americans 1-up going to the final hole, Europe got up and down from a greenside bunker. Rose holed a 5-foot birdie putt to earn the half point.
Earlier, Reed lipped out a 2-footer on the 16th, then bent over with his hands on his knees in despair for several seconds. Reed was in the same bunker as Kaymer on No. 18 but had a bad lie and couldn’t hit the ball toward the hole. Spieth missed a potential match-winning putt from long range.