ryder cup
ryder cup
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Day Three Features
Europeans disgusted by American antics
Chaos reigns with Leonard's 45' putt
Sandelin & Mickelson make friends again
Europe leads in personalities
Last day comeback earns US narrow Ryder Cup win

US fighting back in the singles

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 other three.

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.

Coltart led 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 holes.

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 four holes.

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.