Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley shine as Americans take 8-4 lead at Ryder Cup
The Europeans narrowly avoided being swept by the Americans at the Ryder Cup after Ian Poulter and Justin Rose won 1 up against Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson. Ian Poulter and Justin Rose held back by one till the eight and then took Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson by storm. The British shot ahead with two following Ian Poulter’s 20-foot putt from the fringe.
"It was absolutely key," stated Ian Poulter, who sat out Friday’s fourball. "Jose put us out No. 1 for a reason, and that's to get the point and put the point up on the board."
However, the Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson fought on till the last minute, until Simpson fell short on a six-foot putt for a half on the 18 to hand over Europe’s only match in the third series of the 39th Ryder Cup.
"It was a crucial point in a very intense match,” said Ian Poulter. “It was really important to come back.”
Justin Rose still insisted that the European pair failed to put on their “best” performance and won an “ugly” match.
Meanwhile Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson were the undisputed stars of Saturday's foursomes, after they obliterated Lee Westwood and Luke Donald with 7-and-6.
The American duo’s produced one of the most one-sided team matches in an 18-hole alternate-shot format. Both Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, who usually fare well on putts and fairways respectively, struggled at their specialties. Meanwhile Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson excelled on the greens, with an imminent prospect of making it on each putt.
Keegan Bradley made the hole on four with an 8-footer for birdie, following a striking wedge by Phil Mickelson. With Luke Donald missing a putt on 10, the Americans were 6 up, and by then there was no turning back. Phil Mickelson again delivered with a wedge only two holes latter, landing 20 feet left of the pin the as the ball gradually travelled down the slope stopping at only a foot’s distance from the cup.
Nicolas Colsaerts, who was doing so splendidly at Friday’s foursome was dealt an unfortunate hand by fate as he a tee shot on 17 went water-bound, setting the Europeans downhill trip until they were defeated 2-and-1 by Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson.
The final match of the foursome also concluded in the Americans’ favor after Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker beat Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell 1 up. The last three holes proved to be the deciding element of the match after Graeme McDowell set up Rory McIlroy for a no-brainer birdie putt on 16, with an admirable iron. However, Rory McIlroy missed 17 on a 15-footer, only to drag the Europeans back in the game with a monster drive on 18. Graeme McDowell blew the following shot from the green and when Rory McIlroy tried to putt the ball from the fringe, he over estimated by half an inch.
Brandt Snedeker’s 25-footer eventually decided the match for the Americans.