US fighting back
in the singles
A lost ball
ruling contributed to Europe's woes midway through Sunday's singles session as
the U.S. team mounted a brilliant comeback charge at the Ryder Cup.
The Americans were playing inspired golf in their quest for an historic comeback
victory. Helping the U.S. cause was Andrew Coltart's misfortune of being penalized
after finding his errant drive at the 9th 30 seconds too late.
Europe began the day needing only four points to retain the Cup and extend their
hold on the trophy to six years.
But things were going badly for Europe and grandly for the U.S. team, which led
seven of the matches, were all square in two and trailed only by one hole in the
The U.S. team
was making a run at history, as no team has ever won the Cup after trailing by
more than two points entering the Sunday singles.
Symbolic of Europe's struggles was the unfortunate fate of Coltart at the 9th
hole of his match against Tiger Woods, where he hooked his tee shot into the trees
to the left.
a search party into the woods to hunt for the ball, with officials starting the
clock on the five minutes players are allowed to look for a lost ball.
The ball was found -- but not until 30 seconds after time had elapsed. Coltart
had to return to the tee and hit from there for his third shot. The Scot soon
also lost the hole to fall 3-down to world number one Woods.
Americans held sizable leads in five of the matches.
Tom Lehman, Hal Sutton, Phil Mickelson and Davis Love all had 4-up leads in their
matches, while David Duval was a massive 6-up over Jesper Parnevik through eight
Lehman was beating
Lee Westwood (through 13 holes), Sutton was going aginst Darren Clarke (13), Mickelson
was playing Jarmo Sandelin (12) and Love was facing Jean Van de Velde (11).
Jim Furyk was 1-up over Europe's 19-year-old Spanish sensation Sergio Garcia through
In matches that
were all square, Steve Pate and Miguel Angel Jimenez had played seven holes, while
Payne Stewart and Colin Montgomerie had played four.
The early leaders for Europe were Padraig Harrington, 1 up over Mark O'Meara through
seven holes, Jose Maria Olazabal, 1 up over Justin Leonard through five, and Paul
Lawrie 1 up through three holes against Jeff Maggert.