United States closing in on the Ryder Cup
The 39th edition of the Ryder Cup is hanging in the balance with just one day remaining.
The favoured United States team leads by a commanding 10-6, and with only the Singles to play, there are 12 points on offer.
Every player from both teams will play at Medinah Country Club in what will be the most anticipated Singles session in recent memory as the United States are looking to win at least four matches to win the Ryder Cup.
The cup looked firmly in the Unites States’ grasp before the Europeans rallied to win the last two matches and give themselves a glimmer of hope.
Englishman Ian Poulter produced an amazing back nine to win with partner Rory Mcilroy and stun Americans Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner.
Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia defeated Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker one up in the match of the day.
Sergio, whose early birdies gave them a four up lead after nine, was happy with the result: “We wanted it because we knew it was very important to the team.”
The biggest surprise in the US team is the fact Tiger Woods is 0-3 for the first time in his career, as well as sitting out a session and dropping to below a 500 career record.
Despite some erratic driving Tiger has had his fair sure of brilliance, but either keeps running into hot players or not getting the help he needs from partner Steve Stricker. But all is not lost for Tiger who is renowned for his brilliant individual match play record: he will play Italian Francesco Molinari in the last match at 2.04pm.
The European team will look to hold onto the Ryder Cup that has been firmly in their grasp for most of the past decade, as well as the past two years.
To do so, they must produce the equal-biggest comeback in Ryder Cup history: only the 1999 United States team has come back from four points behind to win going into the last day.
Speaking about the task ahead, team captain Jose Maria Olazabal was optimistic, saying: “it’s been done before” referring to the US comeback at Brookline.
The United States team has been excelling thanks to their incredible depth of super-stars, the number of long hitters that suit the Medinah layout and of course the huge crowd that has been in full voice in Chicago the past few days.
Tomorrow’s play will feature some interesting matches with the early games crucial in gaining some momentum. They will include Bubba Watson/Luke Donald, Webb Simpson/Ian Poulter, and the much-anticipated match of Keegan Bradley and world number one Rory Mcilroy.
It will be a long driving display at 12.58 between Dustin Johnson and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts.
If Europe is to have any chance they need big performances in the middle of the order from Graeme McDowell and Sergio Garcia.
My money is still on the United States team to claim just their second Ryder Cup since 2000, despite a spirited comeback from Europe.
Oliver Neave, Golf correspondent