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McDowell guards against complacency

Graeme McDowell warned his European team-mates to prepare for a final-day American onslaught as he guarded against complacency at the Ryder Cup.

The Europeans head into the singles session at Glenegales as odds-on favourites to win the trophy after opening up a 10-6 lead.

But McDowell, having been a member of the team that memorably overturned the same deficit at Medinah two years ago, is well aware of how the tables can quickly turn.

The Northern Irishman, who will lead off for the Europeans in the first singles match against Jordan Spieth, said: "Complacency is a word that's been the buzzword in our team room this week.

"It's something we've worked hard on to avoid and, believe us, we'll be working hard on that tonight again.

"We're under no illusions, they'll come out all guns blazing tomorrow morning, like they did this morning. We weathered the storm and managed to have a great day, but we're expecting them to be fired up and we've just got to be ready for them."

Europe took such a commanding advantage after winning the Saturday foursomes session by 3.5 points to 0.5. It would have been 3-1 had Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer not birdied the last to halve their match against Spieth and Patrick Reed.

"Say they (United States) win that match, they take something with them into the locker room," said McDowell, who won his own foursomes match in tandem with Victor Dubuisson.

"That's what happened to us at Medinah two years ago when Rory (McIlroy) and Mr Ryder Cup (Ian Poulter) did their thing coming down the stretch, when Poults birdied the last five. It elevated the whole team. We took some momentum and some kind of belief into the locker room and it kind of filtered through all 12 players.

"That's why that putt for Justin was so huge, because it gave them nothing to take away this evening."

Rose struggled to replicate the outstanding putting form he displayed in the morning fourballs in the afternoon, but was pleased to deliver at the crunch moment.

He said: "We put ourselves in a hole, one down playing the last, but Martin just really picked me up, and said, 'Come on, we really deserve to get half a point out of this game'.

"That made the task simple, really, playing the last. Everything else was forgotten, all the mistakes that we'd made prior to that. Suddenly there was a job to do on 18. It was nice to get something out of the day."

McIlroy, who also registered a foursomes point in tandem with Sergio Garcia, echoed the sentiments of McDowell.

The world number one said: "We have a lot of momentum on our side but, at the same time, we just need to cast our minds back to two years ago when we were in a similar position. There can't be any complacency on our side.

"It's going to be a tough battle. We know the US team are going to come out strong and we need to focus and get the job done."

Lee Westwood, who is playing in his ninth Ryder Cup, also made another significant contribution as he and Jamie Donaldson beat Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar 2&1.

That notched 41-year-old Westwood's 23rd point in the competition, moving him above Seve Ballesteros into fourth on Europe's all-time list behind Nick Faldo (25), Bernard Langer (24) and Colin Montgomerie (23.5).

Westwood said: "To move above Seve Ballesteros in Ryder Cup points is something that I guess you just don't ever imagine doing. He's just such a legend and a Ryder Cup legend that I would never have dreamt of it.

"I've always said the Ryder Cup is not about individual points totals and stuff like that, it's about winning the cup for Europe and winning as many points as possible.

"But if you perform well, and to be in with names like that, it's obviously very satisfying."

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