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Afternoon delight places Europe in Ryder Cup driving seat

| 26.09.2014

It was a classic game of two half’s at Gleneagles as Europe staged an awesome comeback against the USA, turning a one-point deficit after the fourballs into a 5-3 lead following the afternoon’s foursomes at the Ryder Cup.

Such a swing in the pendulum from Paul McGinley’s side has placed Europe in a very handy position going into the weekend, with the hosts now as short as 2/7 to lift the Samuel Ryder Trophy.

Meanwhile, Tom Watson’s bruised USA team are out to 5/2 and will have to regroup after a disastrous afternoon which saw them register just a half of the four available points.

The contest is far from over as Europe proved at Medinah two years ago when the USA were up by the same 5-3 scoreline after day one in, which was eventually overturned in the most dramatic fashion by Jose Maria Olazabal’s team who clawed back to 14 ½ – 13 ½.

However, aside from the heavily rain affected 2010 edition, the previous pair of Ryder Cups have seen a two-or-more point Friday lead converted into a commanding victory for either side.

After a terrific morning session where USA rookies Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth stole the show, many will be questioning just why Watson didn’t send them straight back out for the alternate ball format.

Instead the American skipper sent tried-and-tested pair Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley back out after their own hard-fought victory over Europe’s star pair of Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, but the experienced pair could not produce again.

Nevertheless, going into the final three holes it had at least looked like Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker’s efforts would be enough to see earn USA an invaluable point as they approached the 16th 3UP.

But McIlroy and Garcia proved their star quality in a dramatic finish which saw them birdie the final three holes to earn their first half-point of the day and ensure the momentum is firmly with Europe heading into Saturday.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.