U.S. unable to flip matches in afternoon foursomes


GLENEAGLES, Scotland – It’s become a painful theme for the U.S. Ryder Cup team – matches that go all the way to the final hole normally don’t finish in their favor.

Early Friday at Gleneagles, it appeared as if the U.S. side was poised to reverse that trend.

After winning the 18th hole just once two years ago at Medinah, the team doubled that output in the morning fourball session.

First Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker pulled off the comeback with a birdie at the par-5 closing hole to halve their match against Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer after trailing for 17 holes.

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Then Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson held off Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy with a birdie at the last for a 1-up victory.

But in the afternoon it was a familiar refrain when Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood birdied the closer for a 2-up victory over Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar, and McIlroy and Garcia two-putted for birdie to halve their match against Fowler and Walker.

“The 18th hole is always important, no matter what position you're in,” Walker said. “Obviously being down this morning coming in, to get a halve was huge. What Rory and Sergio did just now, it's a bit tough but it was kind of out of our control in a way.”