Ryder Cup: US pull away from Europe after second day | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 01.10.2016
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Ryder Cup: US pull away from Europe after second day

The US takes a three-shot lead into Sunday's singles. They need to win five of the 12 rubbers to get their hands on the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008.

After some stunning play from Phil Mickelson, JB Holmes, Ryan Moore and Matt Kuchar, the Americans - bidding to avoid a fourth successive defeat in the biennial team event - drew away from the Europe team on Saturday.

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed finished the last match of the day on the 17th green to cap a good afternoon for the US team, giving them a 9 1/2-6 1/2 lead going into the final singles matches. The US team won three of the afternoon four ball matches, helped in one when Lee Westwood missed a short putt on the 18th hole that would have given he and Danny Willett a half in their match against Holmes and Moore.

The US team got off on the wrong foot in the foursomes on a warm, windless day at Hazeltine National in Minnesota.

In the top match, world number three Rory McIlroy and long-hitting Belgian rookie Thomas Pieters charged into a three-hole lead after five holes against Mickelson and Rickie Fowler.

Pieters and McIlroy, who also won their afternoon four-balls on Friday, vindicated captain Darren Clarke's decision to send them out first by producing six birdies in 16 holes to score a 4 and 2 win.

Right vein

"To go out first, put a point on the board, that's what we wanted to do," said McIlroy. "We wanted to start the session in the right vein. Thomas and I have similar games and I think that helps in foursomes."

The US tandem of Brandt Snedeker and rookie Brooks Koepka won the opening hole with a par four in the second match and were never behind as they eased past Swede Henrik Stenson and debutant Matt Fitzpatrick of England 3 and 2.

USA Ryder Cup - Golf (Reuters/USA Today Sports/R. Schumacher)

Fans enjoy another thrilling day's golf at Hazeltine

The standard was not as high as the top encounter but the Americans found a turbo-charged gear on the back nine, rattling off four birdies in a row from the 13th.

British Open winner Stenson and Fitzpatrick had wasted a big chance on the 12th when Koepka played a shot more typical of a weekend amateur, shanking his approach to the green into the galleries, but the hole was eventually halved in bogey fives.

Staying patient

"The hardest thing we have to deal with this week is not getting too excited but we did a great job of staying patient," said Snedeker. "It was not pretty by any stretch of the imagination and we found a way to win."

Olympic champion Justin Rose and fellow Englishman Chris Wood, making his first appearance in the competition, never trailed as they scraped a one-up win in a close-fought tussle with Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson.

The real fireworks came in match four as Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello came storming back from four down with six to play to finish all square with the American powerhouse pair of Spieth and Reed.

Spieth and Reed appeared to have things completely under control but the two Spaniards refused to give up and Reed held his nerve to sink a tricky four-foot par putt at the last to avoid defeat.

idr, jbh/cmk (Reuters, AP)