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Ryder Cup 2014
Day 2 was unquestionably Europe’s as they took a 10-6 lead into the final day but is it all over?
How They Stand
Taking a strong view after the first day of any Ryder Cup is a risky business and anyone who lumped on Europe at 2/5 after they ended Friday with a two point lead would not have enjoyed Saturday morning’s action as the USA closed that gap to one point. But European fans were breathing easier during the afternoon foursomes as Europe took complete control. The USA managed just a half point to trail by four ahead of Sunday’s singles matches and the home side are now as short as 1/8.
The Rose and the Swede
Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson had never playing together before, but I think we can safely say that this is a duo we will be seeing more of in the Ryder Cup. They’d already defeated Bubba Watson when he was paired with Webb Simpson in Friday’s four balls and Watson didn’t fare any better against them in partnership with Matt Kuchar on Saturday morning as Rose and Stenson made it three from three.
Shot of the Day
Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter had been out of sorts on Thursday and had largely been carried by Rory McIlroy throughout their morning four-balls, but facing the prospect of going two down with three to play against Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker, Poulter pulled out a miraculous chip to find the hole at the fifteenth, and went on to help his partner pull back another shot at the sixteenth en route to halving the match.
Henrik Stenson didn’t come out in the afternoon, but Justin Rose was given another job to do and in company with Martin Kaymer he fought hard against rookies Jordan Speith and Patrick Reed to pick up another half point in the foursomes, putting him in the driving seat in the race for top tournament points scorer.
Reed and Speith also deserve a mention. After their sparkling performance on Friday morning, they were given a rest in the afternoon, and perhaps USA captain Tom Watson now regrets that decision, given the way they disposed of Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer on Saturday morning, and the fight they showed in the foursomes.
Bubba Watson has made no secret of his dislike for links golf in previous years, and it’s none too surprising to see him struggle. He’s only been used twice by Tom Watson and has been well-beaten in both of his matches so far.
The USA must overcome a four point deficit on Sunday, a tough task, but far from impossible. After all, they did it at Brookline at 1999 and Europe managed it last year at Medinah. The home side are understandably the favourites,
but with Phil Mickelson rested and most of the USA team more comfortable playing singles rather than pairs, I think this could be very close.
Back the tie in the Outright Market at 12/1.