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Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Saturday, 2 October 2010 18:57 UK

Ryder Cup 2010: Europe launch fightback against USA

38th Ryder Cup
Venue: Celtic Manor, Newport Date: 1-3 October
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live & online, live text commentary online & daily highlights on BBC TWO. Live on Sky Sports 1

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Rory McIlroy(l) and Graeme Macdowell

Highlights - Ryder Cup day two

Europe produced a stirring comeback in Saturday's final session against the United States to put themselves in a strong position at the Ryder Cup.

The US ended the opening fourballs with a 2½-1½ lead and extended that to 6-4 after the expanded foursomes session.

But Europe rallied and were up in all six matches, two foursomes and four fourballs, when play ended at 1845 BST.

Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, Europe's outstanding performers, were four up on Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.

Westwood and Donald have nine holes left to play, while in the final foursomes Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy are three up on Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan after seven.

The top fourballs sees Padraig Harrington and Ross Fisher one up after seven against Jim Furyk and Dustin Johnson, with Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez two up on Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton after six.

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Francesco Molinari chipped in just before the close to put himself and brother Edoardo two up on Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar, while Ian Poulter and Martin Kaymer are two up on Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler after four.

"It's been a superb session from the moment we set off," said Europe captain Colin Montgomerie. "I've been very impressed with everyone's play and attitude this afternoon and this evening.

"It's been a very important two hours of play and we've come through it with flying colours. The job is half done, we've got to keep going and maintain this momentum on Sunday morning.

"None of these games are finished but we're in a very, very strong position suddenly. It was not going well at lunchtime, it was a bit stale, but I asked for more passion and they showed it."

Luke Donald

Donald hits two shots of the day

If Europe manage to convert all of their advantages, they will lead the United States 10-6 going into the 12 singles matches.

Montgomerie's side require 14½ points to reclaim the trophy they lost in Valhalla in 2008, with the US needing 14 points to retain their title.

Europe's late surge left proceedings tantalisingly-poised heading into day three - and came at a crucial time for the hosts following two sessions that were edged by Corey Pavin's men.

Saturday's marathon began with the completion of the opening fourballs, which spilled over as a result of Friday's seven-hour rain delay.

Westwood and Kaymer won the first point of the event with a 3&2 victory over Mickelson and Johnson before McDowell and McIlroy salvaged a half against Cink and Kuchar, having been two down when they resumed at the 12th.

The board is a sea of blue now and that's exactly what team Europe needed. We played great and we're looking forward to the morning now

Graeme McDowell

Overton and Watson beat Donald and Harrington 3&2, while Woods and Stricker won two up against Poulter and Fisher.

The altered format continued with a second session comprising six foursomes, three of which were won by the US and two by Europe.

The first result in saw Johnson and Mahan win two up on the Molinari brothers, both contesting their first Ryder Cup.

The US pair led from the sixth hole through to the 15th before they bogeyed the 16th, as the Italians drew level with two holes to play.

But Johnson rattled in a monster putt on the 17th to retrieve the initiative and the US pair also picked up the 18th to seal their win.

Europe hit back through Harrington and Fisher, Harrington waking from his fourballs slumber to end a run of 10 Cup games without a victory as he and a solid Fisher came through 3&2 over Mickelson and Johnson.

Stewart Cink

Cink's birdie putt on 17th crushes McIlroy

"I couldn't make birdies in the fourballs," said three-time major winner Harrington from the Republic of Ireland.

"But captain Colin gave me responsibility today and it worked well for me. Ross played fantastic."

Woods and Stricker - who went out in 32 - extended the US lead with a resounding 4&3 win over Miguel Angel Jimenez and Peter Hanson before Westwood and Kaymer shared the spoils with Furyk and Fowler.

The European paid led throughout the match, only for their opponents to snatch a vital half on the 18th.

Furyk's brilliant chip gave Fowler the chance to hole from four feet to win the final hole and the 21-year-old rookie made no mistake.

"We were down most of the day so to come back and get a point is big for the team," said recent FedEx champion Furyk.

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Rob Hodgetts at Celtic Manor

There was an impressive 2&1 win for Poulter and the excellent Donald over in-form rookies Watson and Overton, the Europeans coming from one down on the 14th to win the next three holes.

A highlight of the exciting finale was Donald's brilliant tee-shot that landed just three feet away from the 17th pin.

"Keeping the ball in play was the key for us - we made four or five birdies but didn't give too many holes away," said 32-year-old Donald.

"We made them work for the holes they won, that's key to foursomes."

Then came the final two foursomes and four fourballs.

"It was important that we picked ourselves up after the second session and got back out there in the afternoon," McDowell told BBC Sport. "The board is a sea of blue now and that's exactly what team Europe needed.

"We could have done with another hour's light to maybe put our match away, but we played great and we're looking forward to the morning now.

"Colin said it was important that we went out and won this series to make sure it was at least even going into the singles so we needed a big session."

The remaining matches will be concluded on Sunday morning, with all 12 singles matches scheduled to be played on the same day.

However, the forecast of heavy rain could yet force the contest to spill over into a Monday finish.



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see also
Monty aims to maintain momentum
02 Oct 10 |  Golf
Ryder Cup 2010: Saturday photos
02 Oct 10 |  Golf
US edge rain-affected first day
01 Oct 10 |  Golf
BBC latest scores
30 Sep 10 |  Live scores
Ryder Cup A-Z
28 Sep 10 |  Golf


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