GLENEAGLES, Scotland (dpa) – The United States clawed their way back to within a point of Europe on an exceptional day of fourball golf at the Ryder Cup on Saturday.
The US won two and halved one of the four morning matches to take the score to 6.5-5.5 before the afternoon’s foursome matches after starting the day 5-3 down.
Europe gained the first point from Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson in a record-breaking game against Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar which saw a fourball record of 21 birdies and a record 12 under for one team.
But US rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed beat Denmark’s Thomas Bjoern and Germany’s Martin Kaymer for their second straight win.
Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan were always in command against Lee Westwood and Jamie Donaldson to give Tom Watson’s side another win, while Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler halved a tough match against Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter – their third draw of the competition.
Rose and Stenson made it three straight victories by edging Watson and Kuchar in a battle of the birdies in which Rose and Stenson struck 10 in a row from holes seven to 16.
All but one of the 16 holes played – the three-par third – produced a birdie, and Rose was in stunning form as he and Stenson wrested control from Watson and Kuchar after the first seven holes for a three-and-two win. Rose, the 2012 US Open winner, bagged seven birdies and Stenson five in all, while Kuchar also had five and Watson four.
The winning Rose-Stenson partnership ended for the afternoon foursomes, with Swede Stenson resting following back pain. Kaymer stepped in to partner the Englishman.
Players hit form elsewhere on a cold but bright morning which featured another superb showing from US rookies Reed and Spieth, who came from two down to beat Bjoern and Kaymer five-and-three.