There is only one way to describe Saturday afternoon for Team USA: a bloodbath. The afternoon foursome matches were ugly. The Americans were tired, sloppy and did not seem to catch any breaks.
As Justin Rose made the monumental putt on the 18th green, giving the Europeans a 10-6 lead, there was only one positive takeaway for Team USA. They have been in this situation before.
Battle of Brookline
In 1999 at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, facing the same deficit going into the final day, the Americans completed one of the greatest Ryder Cup comebacks of all time, which became known as the 'Battle of Brookline'.
Going into the final day of competition tomorrow, Team USA will look to accomplish an even greater feat than in 1999, because they would also be ending a 21-year-old Ryder Cup drought in Europe.
But does Team USA stand any chance of pulling this upset off? Let's not forget - Europe did the same think in Medinah last time out.
Well we will not know until tomorrow, but what we do know is that USA needs eight and a half points in tomorrow’s singles matches to take back the cup from Europe. Or in other words, they need to hold Team Europe to only three wins out of the 12 single matches.
This task could prove to be difficult. From Justin Rose, who earlier this morning put on a clinic with Henrik Stenson combining for a best ball score of 12-under par (believed to be the best in Ryder Cup history), to Victor Dubuissen with his incredibly crisp iron striking, to Graeme McDowell and his skilful putting, Team USA will surely have their hands full.
This is not even mentioning “Mr. Ryder Cup” himself, Ian Poulter, who seems to have snapped out of his funk, and world number one Rory McIlroy. Ultimately, limiting Team Europe to only three and a half points tomorrow is a long shot at best.
That being said, thankfully for the Americans, the foursome alternate shot matches are finally over. The Europeans grabbed seven of their ten points from this format alone, whereas the US got five of their six points from the fourball matches.
Strength for Team USA
Tomorrow’s portion of the tournament is every man for himself with 12 single matches. This will play to Team USA’s strengths because as they have shown from the fourball matches, they perform better in more individual oriented situations.
Additionally, all of the pressure will be on Europe. The 'Battle of Brookline' is still fresh in both teams’ minds. And surely, Europe will not want to blow one of the largest leads in Ryder Cup history, while simultaneously giving the Americans their first win on European soil in over twenty years.