Ryder Cup 2014: Talking points as Westwood makes history and Europe dominate
Ryder Cup 2014: Three talking points as Lee Westwood makes history and Europe dominate USA
Europeans flourish in the fourballs to get one hand on the cup
After a slow first morning in the fourballs, the home side roared back into the lead in the alternate shot foursomes format in the afternoon to lead 5-3. It was the same story on the second day as they saw their overnight lead cut to just a point in the morning before roaring back to lead by four going into the singles. Only one of the matches went up the 18th in the afternoon as Luke Donaldson and Lee Westwood, Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell and Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy all won at a canter on the second afternoon. It was only Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer who went up to the last, and although one down, the Englishman holed a short put to win the hole, halve the match and hand Europe a substantial four-point lead after two days of three. Needing just four from 12 singles matches tomorrow, Europe will be confident, but after what they did at Medinah two years ago, they will be taking no chances.
Dubuisson and McDowell dominate tired American duo
Having had perhaps the most hectic schedule of the weekend, Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler could be forgiven for needing a rest. Having halved a tight match on Saturday morning, they turned around quickly to face off against the impressive duo of Dubisson and McDowell who not only performed extremely well on day one but were rested in the morning to allow them to come out firing in the afternoon. Fire they did, going five up through eight holes to take hold of the match; a hold they never really relinquished finishing in control for a 5&4 victory. Credit to Walker and Fowler, they have played well for most of the weekend but were running out of steam going into Saturday afternoon. They came up against an unstoppable force in G-Mac and V-Dub as they have been labelled in various social media circles.
Westwood makes history alongside debutant Donaldson
Having lost heavily in the first session this morning, Lee Westwood and Jamie Donaldson were keen to get a solid start and bounce back to give Europe the momentum back ahead of Sunday’s ever-crucial singles matches. It was nip and tuck all the way with both sides having the lead at one point or another before Westy and Donaldson went two up through 10 holes. They played with confidence and responsibility to see the match out 2&1 and hand Europe their first win of the afternoon foursomes. The point they did manage was significant, not only because it re-established Europe’s two point advantage over the USA, but it made Westwood the all time points leader for the European side – notching a 23rd point in his illustrious career. The point moved him a half point clear of the late great Seve Ballasteros, who epitomised the passion of Ryder Cup golf and ended his career with 22 ½ points. A wonderful acheivement for a player whose career has almost been defined by his exploits in European blue rather than anything he has previously achieved.