Two years after the “Miracle of Medinah,” where Europe overcome a 10-6 deficit to win 14 1/2-13 1/2, the home team leads by the same score after dominating the foursomes matches at Gleneagles on Saturday.
But Europe, too, know what it’s like to throw away a 10-6 lead. Back in 1999 in Brookline, the U.S. overturned that same margin to win 14 1/2-13 1/2.
Europe, which has captured seven of the last nine Ryder Cups, needs four points from Sunday’s 12 singles to retain the trophy and 4 1/2 points to win it outright.
Europe captain Paul McGinley warned his players against complacency, saying they can’t afford to lose any momentum on Sunday.
|Europe’s Ian Poulter plays a shot on the 18th hole on Saturday. (AP-Yonhap)|
“We’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow,” he said. “You only have to look back two years ago what happened on away soil. We all see how quickly it can turn around.”
U.S. captain Tom Watson said his team was up to the challenge.
“As I recall, there’s been a little bit of history with 10-6 comebacks. The players are already talking about that,” he said. “I have a trust in my players that they can get it done. They know absolutely what they have to do.
“We’ve got to smoke them. We’ve got to take them out early.”
The captains took opposite approaches to Sunday’s singles order.
Looking for an early spark, Watson put his three youngest players at the top of the order, leading off with 21-year-old rookie Jordan Spieth, followed by 24-year old rookie Patrick Reed and 25-year-old Rickie Fowler.
“It was time to get the rookies a chance to see what they have got,” Watson said. “If they can turn the tide right there, it would give us a boost that the rest of the team can handle.”
McGinley, meanwhile, front-loaded his lineup with established veterans. Out first will be former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, followed by Henrik Stenson and No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy.