Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

United States extend lead with huge win

Keegan Bradley, pictured, and Phil Mickelson made it three wins out of three at Medinah (AP)

Luke Donald and Lee Westwood today suffered a record-equalling defeat as the United States extended their lead on the second day of the Ryder Cup at Medinah.

The European pair failed to win a single hole as they were thrashed 7&6 in the morning foursomes by Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, who made it three wins out of three to put their side 6-3 ahead overall.

Mickelson, making a US-record ninth appearance, and rookie Bradley had beaten Sergio Garcia and Donald in foursomes yesterday - ending the pair's unbeaten record in the format - and Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell in fourballs, and were in brilliant form again today.

They were gifted the second hole when a completely out-of-sorts Westwood found water off the tee on the second - he did so twice on the 15th yesterday - but otherwise made genuine birdies on the first, fifth, seventh and ninth to be five up by the turn.

Another birdie followed on the 10th and when the European pair three-putted the 12th it was all over, matching the 7&6 defeats suffered by Nick Faldo and David Gilford in 1991 and Ken Brown and Des Smyth in 1979.

Mickelson said: "Europe has had some great team-mates, but to be able to share this experience with Keegan has been really awesome. We've had so much fun, the crowd has provided so much energy and it's brought our best golf out."

Bradley added: "I'm just thrilled I got to share this with Phil."

At one point the US led in all four matches but Ian Poulter and Justin Rose had hit back to lead Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson by two with five to play in the top match, while Sergio Garcia and Nicolas Colsaerts - simply sensational in carrying Westwood to victory over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker yesterday - were all square with Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson after 11.

World number one McIlroy and former US Open champion McDowell had yet to find a birdie in 10 holes but were just one down to Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker in a repeat of the opening match yesterday morning which the Northern Irish pair won on the 18th.