Tue, Oct 02, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Europe fight back to retain Ryder Cup

GREATEST EVER COMEBACK?Europe won four and halved one of six of the 12 matches that reached the 18th hole, silencing the fans as they won on US soil for the fourth time

Reuters, MEDINAH, Illinois

McIlroy played what he described as his best golf of the week, after giving his team an early scare when making his teeoff by barely 10 minutes due to a mix up over his starting time.

Firebrand Englishman Ian Poulter never led in his match until he won the par-three 17th with a par, before beating US Open champion Webb Simpson 2-up after conjuring a miraculous birdie from trees at the last.

Poulter, whose storming finish of five successive birdies earned a valuable point in Saturday’s fourballs to give Europe momentum heading into the final day, ended the week with a perfect 4-0-0 record.

The first US point on Sunday came when long-hitting Dustin Johnson beat Belgian Cup rookie Nicolas Colsaerts 3-and-2, but England’s Justin Rose then came from 1-down to Phil Mickelson after 16 holes to win 1-up with a birdie-birdie finish.

Rose drained a 35-footer at the tricky par-three 17th to square the match, then coolly sank a 12-footer at the 18th after Mickelson had over-hit the green with his approach.

“When it looked like I might be able to stop some of momentum on the board, they [Europe] were able to get another point,” Mickelson said. “That match, as early as it was, was a very pivotal one.”

Though Zach Johnson and Cup rookie Jason Dufner added further points for the US after never trailing in their matches against Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell (2-and-1) and Swede Peter Hanson (2-up), the late momentum went Europe’s way.

“All went to plan. We were four ahead,” Love said. “The plan worked the first two days, it just didn’t work today.”

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