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Blindsided Europe Leads Big - COPIED

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36th Ryder Cup MatchesSTRAFFAN, Ireland -- The European team took 2 1/2 points in the Saturday foursomes, the same point total the squad took in all four team sessions, and will carry a big 10-6 lead into the Sunday singles at the Ryder Cup.
 
Sergio Garcia completed a 4-0 team record this week as he and Luke Donald won the 15th and 16th holes to post a 2-and-1 victory over Phil Mickelson and David Toms in the first afternoon foursomes match.
 
Garcia is now a perfect 8-0 in foursomes in four career Ryder Cups.
 
For Mickelson, it ends a horrible team portion of the Ryder Cup. He went 0-3-1 and Toms was not much better as he went 0-2-1.
 
Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk earned some redemption from a Saturday morning fourball loss to Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood. The American pair, ranked first and third in the world, knocked off the Irish pair of Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley, 3 and 2, in the foursomes.
 
Paul Casey recorded the sixth ace in Ryder Cup history in the Saturday foursomes. He aced the par-3 14th, which gave him and David Howell a 5-and-4 win over Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson.
 
Vaughn Taylor made his Ryder Cup debut for the American team Saturday afternoon. He and Chad Campbell valiantly earned a halve against the veteran team of Colin Montgomerie and Westwood.
 
Campbell rolled a long eagle putt into concession range, but Westwood had a chance to win the match outright. Montgomerie gave him 12 feet for eagle, but Westwood's putt narrowly missed the hole, meaning the teams earned half a point.
 
In the morning fourballs, the two superstar teams for the U.S. got trounced.
 
Woods and Furyk lost to Clarke and Westwood, 3 and 2, while Mickelson and Chris DiMarco got beat by Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal by the same score.
 
Team rookie Johnson gave the Americans a lift in the fourballs. He recorded six birdies in his first 10 holes en route to a 2-and-1 win for himself and Scott Verplank against Harrington and Henrik Stenson.
 
Another first-timer, J.J. Henry, eagled the 16th and birdied 17 in the morning as he played with Cink against Casey and Robert Karlsson. Unfortunately for Henry, he three-putted the last for a par, while Casey kicked in a 5-footer for birdie to earn a halve.
 
If the U.S. is to come back on Sunday during the singles, they will match the largest final-day comeback in Ryder Cup history. The 1999 American team at Brookline came back from the same margin, which was the last time the U.S. won the Ryder Cup.
 
American captain Tom Lehman played a pivotal role in the comeback at Brookline. He led off on Sunday, hit every fairway en route to toppling Westwood to kickstart the rally.
 
Only three players on the U.S. side remain from that magical team - Woods, Mickelson and Furyk.
 
'It's imperative that we as a team get off to a quick start like we did in '99,' said Woods, who is 2-2 this week. 'In '99 I think we had six matches that we were up early and got points early, and hopefully we can do the same tomorrow.'
 
The European team, which returns six players from Brookline, is keenly aware of the margin and what happened seven years prior.
 
'Unfortunately, the last time we were 10-6 up, you know the result in 1999,' said Montgomerie. 'We are not complacent at all. The Americans have always come out as favorites in singles. I believe we've got the strongest 12 singles players we've ever had in Europe and we have a great chance of winning this thing tomorrow.'
 
Montgomerie has been the leader on this team, but unquestionably the best European player this week has been Garcia. He and Donald moved 1-up Saturday afternoon after the Americans made a mess of the seventh.
 
The Europeans moved 2-up, but America came back. Toms sank a 10-foot birdie putt to win 13, then Garcia missed an 8-foot par putt to lose 14 and square the match.
 
Toms drove into the water at 15 to squash any momentum the U.S. built. They lost that hole, then Donald drained a 15-foot birdie putt to win the 16th. The teams halved 17 to give Europe the win.
 
'We came back nicely,' said Garcia. 'We snuck one in there in 16. It was a birdie that no one expected, but we managed to gut it out.'
 
Woods and Furyk showed some of the strong play that they showed Friday morning in their victory. Woods knocked a 7-iron to 8 feet at the fourth to set up a birdie putt by Furyk. The U.S. took the fifth to move 2-up.
 
The Irish pair closed the deficit twice, but never took the lead. McGinley kicked in a 2-footer for birdie to win the 12th and cut it 1-down. Harrington and McGinley bogeyed 13 to give the U.S. back its 2-up advantage.
 
Furyk rolled in a long birdie putt at 15 and McGinley could not hole out from a closer distance, so the Americans moved 3-up with three to play. Furyk lagged a birdie try close at 16 and the European side conceded the match.
 
The tightest match of the Saturday fourballs featured Campbell and Taylor versus Montgomerie and Westwood.
 
The European team built a 1-up lead through six, but the Americans won seven and 10 to move 1-up. Montgomerie holed a 7-foot birdie putt at 12 to square the match.
 
Much like Toms, Taylor drove into the pond at 15. The U.S. lost that hole, but came back to win the 17th with par, drawing even with the Europeans with one hole to play.
 
Westwood missed his eagle chance to win, settling for a disappointing halve.
 
'I wish that putt had gone in,' acknowledged Westwood, who also went undefeated with a 2-0-2 mark. 'We hit two fantastic shots to get to that position, just a shame I couldn't finish it off.'
 
Howell and Casey jumped all over their American counterparts. Europe won holes two through five to go 4-up and the Americans never got closer. Howell ran home a seven-foot birdie putt at 12 to move 5-up with six to play.
 
The Europeans were 5-up with five to go on the 213-yard, par-3 14th tee. Casey hit a 4-iron and watched the ball roll into the cup for the first ace at the Ryder Cup since Howard Clark in the 1995 Ryder Cup.
 
'That's my first hole in one in a professional tournament, much less in a Ryder Cup,' said Casey. 'It's remarkable. I mean, we played great golf today.'
 
Related Links:
  • Ryder Cup Scoring
  • Full Coverage - 36th Ryder Cup Matches