After another bruising day on the course at Whistling Straits the Americans lead 11-5 going into the Sunday singles and need just 3.5 points from a possible 12 to reclaim the trophy from Europe, who need nine.
Padraig Harrington has put his big hitters high up with Europe’s three most in form players following McIlroy. Shane Lowry was in inspired form on Saturday afternoon and goes out second while Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia are unbeaten so far and follow in the next two matches.
Europe will be drawing on their memories of the Miracle at Medinah, when Jose Maria Olazabal’s team came back from 10-6 down on the final day to win in 2012, though the deficit this time around is greater than any that has ever been clawed back at a Ryder Cup. They will have to make history to win.
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Viktor Hovland and Bernd Wiesberger lost to Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth 2 down
Hovland and Wiesberger went down to defeat on the 18th after letting a brilliant start slip.
The European duo led by three after six but their advantage was cancelled out as Thomas and Spieth won three of the next four. A birdie at 11 saw Hovland and Wiesberger edge back ahead but they then lost three in succession from the 14th.
A birdie on the 17th ensured the match would go the distance but any hopes of snatching back half a point ended when Wiesberger found the creek that cuts through the final fairway.
Paul Casey and Tyrell Hatton lost to Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa 2&1
Casey and Hatton were left with too much to do after an early battering that saw the Americans win six of the opening eight holes to move four ahead. Johnson underlined their superiority by chipping in at the third.
The European pair pulled one back when the Americans bogeyed the 11th and, after also taking the 13th, they suddenly sensed an unlikely comeback when Casey remarkably holed a blind approach for an eagle at the 14th. The run was not to last as the Americans quickly hit back at the 15th and then held on.
John Rahm and Sergio Garcia beat Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger 3&1
Europe’s all-Spanish pairing produced a superb fightback to claim Europe’s only point of the opening session. It came after a start to forget as Koepka and Berger won the opening three holes.
The Europeans reduced the deficit at the fourth but again found themselves three down after a bogey at the par-five fifth. Their recovery began as Rahm secured the sixth with a solid putt and Garcia did likewise at the eighth before brilliantly chipping in to take the ninth.
They maintained the momentum with success at the 12th and 13th. The Americans kept hopes alive by winning the 14th but, after a long delay at the 15th when a ruling went against a frustrated Koepka, the Spaniards closed the match out by winning at 16 and 17.
The fourballs on Saturday afternoon brought a few smiles for Europe at last, but it proved another tough day at the office.
With a bit of time to go before the singles start, we’ll take a look back at the action from yesterday.
What do they need?
The scoreboard makes for pretty grim reading for Padraig Harrington and Europe on this final day.
To win the Ryder Cup a team needs a total of 14.5 points from the 28 available across the three days, while the team that arrive as the holders (Europe) can retain the trophy with 14 points.
Europe to retain – 9 points
Europe to win – 9.5 points
Matches and tee times
It’s a later start with just the one session on the final day, and here is how the two sides pair up for the singles session.
- 5.04pm – Rory McIlroy v Xander Schauffele
- 5.15pm – Shane Lowry v Patrick Cantlay
- 5.26pm – Jon Rahm v Scottie Scheffler
- 5.37pm – Sergio Garcia v Bryson DeChambeau
- 5.48pm – Viktor Hovland v Collin Morikawa
- 5.59pm – Paul Casey v Dustin Johnson
- 6.10pm – Bernd Wiesberger v Brooks Koepka
- 6.21pm – Ian Poulter v Tony Finau
- 6.32pm – Tyrrell Hatton v Justin Thomas
- 6.43pm – Lee Westwood v Harris English
- 6.54pm – Tommy Fleetwood v Jordan Spieth
- 7.05pm – Matt Fitzpatrick v Daniel Berger
The task at hand… history
It all looks set for the USA to cruise to victory today. The hosts at Whistling Straits need just 3.5 points to reclaim the Ryder Cup from Europe.
The challenge for Padraig Harrington’s team is to make history. No side in Ryder Cup history have ever recovered from the deficit facing Europe today.
Hello and welcome to the Evening Standard’s coverage of the final day of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.