Oct 1st, 2016
Spanish fight back keeps Team Europe in contention
6 1/2 versus 5 1/2
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
The fight back continues from Team Europe, with the Spanish duo of Garcia and Cabrera–Bella securing a valuable, perhaps invaluable, half against Spieth and Reed, who for so long had looked comfortable victors.
Four down with six to play against Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, the Spaniards claimed a remarkable half point, and in claiming a half, they ensured the American lead is one point, as Europe have put themselves properly back in Ryder Cup contention at 6 ½ v 5 ½.
After the round Sergio said: "This is the Ryder Cup, it's as simple as that. It was tough out there - they played so well. We were consistent giving ourselves chances but they had an amazing start. We kept saying, 'keep at it and they may slow down'."
And boy did they, and this was as unlikely a half point as you could possibly imagine. Great work fellas.
Brooks Koepka and Brandt Snedeker, who beat Matthew Fitzpatrick and Henrik Stenson 3 & 2, won the only outright point for Team USA.
Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters took advantage of some erratic early play by Mickelson and Rickie Fowler to open up a three-hole lead. They wobbled around the turn, but held on to secure what was in the end a comfortable 4 & 2 victory.
According to Rory: "You want to set the tone for the rest of the team and when they saw us up early that's exactly what we were trying to do - put blue on the board. We delivered for Darren. It's a great atmosphere and it seems like we're playing it in the right spirit. It's competitive but still respectful."
Thomas Pieters has taken to Ryder Cup like a duck to water, and the partnership with Rory looks to be working incredibly well. He's had an amazing year, and wouldn't a Ryder Cup victory cap it all. But let's not get ahead of ourselves......
We need a proper lie down after the dramas of the afternoon, but there is no respite as it’s straight into the fourballs. Bring it on. Europe is still very much in it.