MEDINAH, Ill. — A capsule look at the matches Saturday in the Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club:
Justin Rose and Ian Poulter, Europe, def. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, United States, 1 up.
Poulter got Europe off to a good start with a birdie putt on the opening hole, but the Americans grabbed back the momentum with a birdie at No. 3 and another on the par-5 fifth. Simpson dragged the U.S. team down by missing four putts inside 10 feet, however, and Europe seized on the opportunity. They won two straight holes, one with a par on the par-5 10th, and then went 2 up when Simpson's chip right of the 12th green came back down the hill. A poor chip by Rose allowed the Americans to halve the 13th with bogey. Watson made a peculiar choice on the short 15 by laying up with an iron, even though his team was 2 down. The hole was halved in pars. This was not a pretty match. The Americans won the 16th with a bogey. Simpson had an 8-foot birdie putt on the 18th to earn a halve, but he missed. Europe had a 73 on its card and still won.
Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, United States, def. Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, Europe, 7 and 6.
Donald had to face this U.S. juggernaut twice at Medinah, and the matches went a combined 27 holes. This wasn't even close, as the Americans won the opening two holes without even having to putt – Mickelson hit wedge to a foot on No. 1, Westwood went into the water on No. 2. Donald hit into a bunker that led to bogey on the sixth, and the Americans were on their way. Mickelson blistered a 4-wood onto the green at the seven for a birdie, and Bradley hit a 3-wood from 281 yards onto the green at the 10th. Counting the conceded birdie on No. 2, the Americans were 6 under through 10 holes, an astounding feat in foursomes. Mickelson's wedge to a foot on the 12th was conceded for par, and the Americans matched the Ryder Cup record for largest margin. The most recent 7-and-6 win was in 1991.
Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson, United States, def. Nicolas Colsaerts and Sergio Garcia, Europe, 2 and 1.
Dufner missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the opening hole, made up for it with an 8-foot birdie on the second, and the Americans never trailed. This one was never easy, though. The Americans built an early 2-up lead, only to made bogey on the sixth hole. Colsaerts came down off his record performance, though he pitched in enough to help Garcia square the match with a birdie on the 11th. From there, it all fell apart. The Americans won the 12th and 13th holes with pars to go 2 up. Garcia made a birdie putt on the 16th to trim the lead to one hole, but Colsaerts hit into the water on the 17th that sealed the U.S win.
Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker, United States, def. Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, Europe, 1 up.
This was a replay from the opening sessions Friday, only it was the anchor match. The result was the same, but the outcome favored Furyk and Snedeker, each of whom won their first match of the week. They birdied the first hole to take the lead for good, expanded it to 2-up with another birdie on the par-5 fifth. McIlroy and McDowell were so far out of sorts that they didn't make a birdie until the par-5 14th hole. By then, they were running out of holes. McIlroy made a 12-foot birdie on the 16th to get within one, and he had a 10-foot birdie on the 17th to square the match. He missed it. Snedeker again went right off the tee on the 18th, though not as far off line. McIlroy killed his tee shot, but McDowell's approach was slightly long and into the collar. McIlroy missed, and Snedeker needed only two putts to win the match. He rolled it 2 feet by, and McDowell conceded the par.
Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar, United States, def. Nicolas Colsaerts and Paul Lawrie, Europe, 1 up.
Kuchar made opened with three birdies in five holes as the Americans took a 2-up lead and never trailed. They never had it easy, either. Colsaerts made everything from every distance in fourballs Friday, and this time it seemed as though he caught every lip. Two putts dipped in-and-out of the cup. Even so, this was the tightest match of the afternoon, with five straight holes halved on the back nine. Europe squared the match on the 16th hole when Johnson failed to get up-and-down from a bunker. But on the 17th, Johnson rolled in a 20-foot putt for the loudest roar of the week and a 1-up lead. Colsaerts hit wedge on the 18th hole that spun back and lipped out – again – and he missed a 10-foot putt that would have halved the match.
Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, United States, def. Justin Rose and Francesco Molinari, Europe, 5 and 4.
Simpson must have been irritated for missing all those short putts in the morning foursomes. In this match, it didn't seem as though he missed anything at all. Simpson made birdie on the third hole for a 1-up lead, and the Americans never looked back. Watson made it 2 up on the par-5 seventh, and then Simpson took over from there by running off four straight birdies – Europe matched two of them – and rolling in a 10-foot birdie putt on the 13th to go 4 up. Watson had a 35-foot eagle putt that he lagged for birdie.
Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald, Europe, def. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, United States, 1 up.
Not many could have seen this coming. A match between these four players, none of whom had won a point all week. Garcia ran off three birdies in five holes as Europe jumped out to the lead, and Donald birdied the eighth and ninth holes to extend the lead to 4 up. That's when Woods woke up. His birdie on the 10th, and Stricker's 8-foot birdie putt on the 12th cut the lead in half. Woods hit his tee shot to 3 feet on the 13th and the Americans were 1 down. But they could never catch up. Donald matched Woods' birdie on the 14th, and Donald made a 4-foot birdie on the 15th after Woods missed from 10 feet. That restored the lead to 2 up, but Woods answered with an approach to 8 feet and yet another key birdie. Woods followed, as he had done Friday, with a brilliant tee shot to 4 feet. Donald, however, followed with a tee shot to 2 feet and another halve. Stricker had an 8-foot birdie on the final hole to halve the match, but it caught the left lip and spun out.
Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter, Europe, def. Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson, 1 up.
The sleeper American pairing won the first two holes, were 2 up at the turn and appeared to be in control of the match the whole way. Everything changed on the par-3 13th hole, when McIlroy holed a 15-foot sliding putt for birdie. Poulter made a 6-foot birdie on the 14th to halve the hole. In a peculiar move, Johnson teed off first on the 15th and hit driver into the water. That forced Dufner to lay up, and Poulter made birdie with a delicate blast out of the sand to 2 feet. The match was all square, and Poulter came to life. He holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 16th to go 1 up. Johnson hit his tee shot to 4 feet on the 17th, and with McIlroy missing the green, Poulter made a 7-foot birdie putt for Europe to stay 1 up. Dufner hit an approach to 4 feet on the 18th hole and made the birdie putt, leaving Poulter a 12-footer for birdie to halve the hole and win the match. He made it for his fifth straight birdie.