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Friday October 22, 2021

USA grabs 11-5 edge over Europe at Ryder Cup

AFP
September 27, 2021

KOHLER, United States: The United States seized a commanding 11-5 lead over Europe at the Ryder Cup on Saturday, with the visitors needing a record comeback on Sunday to deny the Americans the trophy.

The US squad, boasting nine of the world’s 11 top-ranked players, need only 3.5 points in Sunday’s 12 final singles matches at Whistling Straits to reclaim the Ryder Cup while Europe need nine points to keep it.

“You know, it’s not over,” said US star Dustin Johnson, the only 4-0 player at this year’s Ryder Cup. “We’ve still got to go out and everybody needs to play well. We’ve still got to get four points or 3 1/2.”

There was a sense Sunday could be a “Wake by the Lake” for Europe on the Lake Michigan shoreline as no team has rallied from more than a 10-6 last-day deficit to capture the Ryder Cup, that coming for Europe in the 2012 “Miracle at Medinah.”

“Let’s see if we can make history,” Spain’s Sergio Garcia said after two wins with Jon Rahm on Saturday.

“We’re not going to give up, that’s for sure. It’s going to be difficult but we’re going to give it our best. We’re going to fight until the end as hard as we can.”

The Americans won a third consecutive session 3-1 in Saturday foursomes and split four four-ball matches to grab their largest two-day lead in the team golf showdown since 1975.

“We’re not in a good position,” Europe’s Ian Poulter said. “It’s going to take a beyond monumental effort.”

The Europeans have won four of the past five Ryder Cups and nine of the past 12 but the Americans have looked superior by far.

“The lead we’ve created is huge,” US star Bryson DeChambeau said. “We haven’t had this good an opportunity in a long time and hopefully we can get the job done. We’ve got to focus like it’s 0-0 and try to get every point we can.”

Second-ranked Johnson rose to 4-0 with US wins in foursomes and four-balls alongside fellow two-time major winner Collin Morikawa.

“I just feel like I’ve just played solid,” Johnson said. “Not trying to do anything too crazy. Just keep the ball in play.”