Sep 26th, 2021
2020 Ryder Cup: Team USA ready to celebrate
America continues domination to lead by six points
Words: GolfPunk Photography: PGA of America
The greatest final-day comebacks are the US at Brookline in 1999 and the 'Miracle of Medinah' by Europe in 2012; both sides came from 10-6 down to claim the Ryder Cup.
European captain Padraig Harrington believes it is still achievable.
"It's still possible," said Harrington. "It's only half a point more than we won in the singles at Medinah. There's no doubt that is going to be strong in our minds."
However, with many of the European team misfiring, in particular, Rory McIlroy, one has to believe this is a forlorn hope.
Naturally, US captain Steve Stricker is not counting his chickens and must have a slight worry that a repeat of Medinah could occur.
"Going into Sunday 11-5 versus 10-6, that's a big difference in my book," Stricker said. "I'm not going to bring up Medinah."
It would appear that Stricker's team believe they have done enough to ensure they will be drinking out of the cup come Sunday evening.
After he and Jordan Speith contributed one of Team USA's three points in the Saturday morning foursomes, Thomas appeared on the first tee with a can of beer in his hand.
Thomas proceeded to chug part of the beer and then sprayed the rest before slamming the can into the ground in celebration. As one would expect, the fired-up crowd in the stand were suitably impressed.
The one highlight of another miserable morning session for Europe was the Spanish duo of Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia. Once again, they won the top match, this time beating the American pairing of Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger by 3&1.
Harrington then did what he should have done on Friday and put the pair out again in the fourballs, where they produced the goods once again with a 2&1 win against Koepka again, who was paired with Jordan Speith.
After a poor showing in the morning where Casey and Hatton, Hovland and Wiesbeger and Westwood and Fitzpatrick all went down to narrow losses, there was a glimmer of light when Europe led in the top three matches heading around the turn.
However, despite Shane Lowry holing a gutsy ten-foot putt on the 18th to win Europe's second point of the afternoon, America took the last two matches to establish a considerable lead.
A totally out of sorts McIlroy partnered once again with Ian Poulter never looked like challenging Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa, the European pair losing by a score of 4&3.
The remaining match was an epic battle between Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland's and Scottie Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau. A win for the Europeans would have meant Europe going into Sunday trailing 10-6 and thoughts of Medinah.
Sadly, the American pairing killed off European hopes with a run of three birdies from the 14th tee to see off the challenge of Fleetwood and Hovland by 3&1.
So, Europe needs to win nine points out of the twelve on offer in the Sunday singles, which line up as follows (UK time):
17: 04 Xander Schauffele vs Rory McIlroy
17: 15 Patrick Cantlay vs Shane Lowry
17: 26 Scottie Scheffler vs Jon Rahm
17: 37 Bryson DeChambeau vs Sergio Garcia
17: 48 Collin Morikawa vs Viktor Hovland
17: 59 Dustin Johnson vs Paul Casey
18: 10 Brooks Koepka vs Bernd Wiesberger
18: 21 Tony Finau vs Ian Poulter
18: 32 Justin Thomas vs Tyrrell Hatton
18: 43 Harris English vs Lee Westwood
18: 54 Jordan Spieth vs Tommy Fleetwood
19: 05 Daniel Berger vs Matt Fitzpatrick