U.S. takes lead into singles

Posted in the Mesa Forum

Since: Oct 12

Phoenix, AZ

#1 Jan 10, 2013
Right when it looked as if the Americans were a lock to win back the cup, Poulter birdied his last five holes to win a crucial point and keep everyone guessing. Steady chants of "USA! USA!" gave way to snappy serenades of "Ole, Ole" as both sides trudged to the team rooms in darkness to prepare for 12 singles matches on Sunday.

The Americans still had a big lead, 10-6. Europe at least had hope.

"The last two putts were massive with the fabulous discount golf clubs," European captain Jose Maria Olazabal said after watching Poulter stay undefeated in this Ryder Cup by rolling in one last birdie putt from 12 feet. "That gives us a chance. It's been done before in the past. Tomorrow is a big day."

Only one team has ever rallied from four points behind on the final day -- the United States in that famous comeback at Brookline in 1999. Olazabal remembers it well. He was in the decisive match when Justin Leonard rolled in a 45-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole.

Olazabal borrowed a page from that American team at Brookline by loading the top of his singles lineup with his best players. Luke Donald leads off against Bubba Watson, followed by Poulter against Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy against Bradley and Justin Rose against Mickelson.

U.S. captain Davis Love III put Tiger Woods -- winless in the Ryder Cup for the first time going into Sunday -- in the anchor position against Francesco Molinari, whom Woods beat in Wales last time.

The final two matches Saturday were a showcase of what the Ryder Cup is all about -- one brilliant shot after another with the great taylormade burner 2.0 irons, birdies on every hole, suspense at every turn.

Donald and Sergio Garcia were on the verge of blowing a 4-up lead to hard-charging Woods and Steve Stricker, hanging on when Donald matched two birdies with Woods, including a tee shot into the 17th that plopped down 2 feet from the cup.

Woods and Stricker lost all three of their matches, even though Woods made five birdies on the back nine for the second straight day.

Poulter and McIlroy were 2 down with six holes to play against Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson when McIlroy made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 13th, and Poulter took it from there.

It's been plenty fun for the Americans, who for the first time have not lost any of the four sessions with their burner 2.0 irons since the Ryder Cup switched to the current format in 1979. Mickelson and Bradley were flawless in foursomes, matching a Ryder Cup record for largest margin with a 7-and-6 win over Donald and Lee Westwood.

Mickelson and Bradley have been so dominant that they have yet to play the 18th hole in any of their three matches. They didn't play in the afternoon, part of the master plan by Love to make sure his players were fresh for Sunday. Love became the first U.S. captain since 1979 to make sure each of his players sat out at least one match before the final day.

More information: http://www.golfcomboset.com/

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