by Jeff Skinner
Fowler’s eagle putt stopped just short of the hole and thereby cut the USA comeback a bit shorter than Captain Tom Watson had hoped.
Team USA was able to pick up a full point on the European Team taking the morning session at Gleneagles 2 ½ to 1½. That still leaves Europe with a one point lead 6 ½ to 5 ½ as the teams head to the final session of team play, afternoon foursomes.
The morning session started with the US team of Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar running into the buzz saw of a team of Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. Rose has been blessed by the Golf Gods this week with a magic putter and was dropping putts from everywhere on the green. The Euro’s carded 10 birdies in their 3 & 2 win with Rose earning seven of them.
The good news for the Americans is that Bubba found his game and actually made a few birdies and Kuchar played well also but no one was going to top Rose today. So far he is the star of the week.
The second match pitted Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan against Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood with the Americans dominating from the start and earning a 4 & 3 victory. Furyk was finally given a teammate that carries his weight (not like all those Tiger pairings) and he and Mahan got an early lead and stepped on the gas. They were 3 up after seven and never looked back.
Match three had the American Wunderkinds, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed vying against veterans Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer. Bjorn has whiskers in that beard of his that are older than the Americans but the youngsters gave the old dudes all they could handle.
Spieth and Reed were tested early as they went 2 down after the third hole but there is plenty of heart in those young chests. They fought back to all square at the sixth and took the lead at the ninth. From there they stepped on the gas with five birds in seven holes to close out the match on the fifteenth hole, 5 & 3.
Team Rookie gave the USA a 2-1 advantage in the morning sessions with the final McIlroy/Poulter vs. Walker/Fowler match going all the way to eighteen for the half. McIlroy played well and carried Poulter early in the match but it looks like the beast has awoken. Poulter found his game down the stretch with a chip in and some clutch putting. That doesn’t bode well for the Americans.
Walker and Fowler have played some very good golf and their matches have been the most tightly contested of the week. They have faced the best the Euro’s have to offer and not blinked once. Earning a half point in each of their matches may be construed by some as failure but with the teams they have faced and the level of play thrown at them these two have displayed the grit and determination that wins the Ryder Cup.