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Ryder Cup: Europe storm ahead on super Sunday

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Europe's Miguel Angel Jimenez smokes a cigar  after completing his round during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

Europe's Miguel Angel Jimenez smokes a cigar after completing his round during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

Lynne Cameron

Euorpe's Lee Westwood (right) shakes hands with the USA's Tiger Woods after he beat the American pairing of Woods and Stricker in the session 3 foursomes, during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

Euorpe's Lee Westwood (right) shakes hands with the USA's Tiger Woods after he beat the American pairing of Woods and Stricker in the session 3 foursomes, during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

David Davies

Kandi Harris, the partner of the USA's Hunter Hahan watches his match in the session 3 foursomes, during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

Kandi Harris, the partner of the USA's Hunter Hahan watches his match in the session 3 foursomes, during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

David Davies

Graeme was put there for a very good reason. He won the US Open, was full of confidence and it showed.<br />
<b>Victorious European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie gives his reasons for sending out Graeme McDowell last for what proved the crucial singles match against the United States.</b>

Graeme was put there for a very good reason. He won the US Open, was full of confidence and it showed.<br /> <b>Victorious European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie gives his reasons for sending out Graeme McDowell last for what proved the crucial singles match against the United States.</b>

David Davies

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell of Europe celebrate on the 17th green after winnig their match

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell of Europe celebrate on the 17th green after winnig their match

©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Jeff Overton of the USA putts on the 17th green during the Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Jeff Overton of the USA putts on the 17th green during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Andy Lyons

Zach Johnson of the USA consults with an official during the  Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Zach Johnson of the USA consults with an official during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Sam Greenwood

Former Dutch football player Ruud Gullit (L) shakes hands with Lee Westwood of Europe during the Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Former Dutch football player Ruud Gullit (L) shakes hands with Lee Westwood of Europe during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Richard Heathcote

Ian Poulter of Europe celebrates holing a putt on the 15th green  during the  Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Ian Poulter of Europe celebrates holing a putt on the 15th green during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Ross Kinnaird

Francesco Molinari of Europe is congratulated by fans after winning his match during the  Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Francesco Molinari of Europe is congratulated by fans after winning his match during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Andy Lyons

Tiger Woods of the USA looks on during the  Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Tiger Woods of the USA looks on during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Richard Heathcote

Padraig Harrington of Europe is congratulated by USA Captain Corey Pavin (L) after winning his match on the 17th green during the Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Padraig Harrington of Europe is congratulated by USA Captain Corey Pavin (L) after winning his match on the 17th green during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Jamie Squire

Rory McIlroy of Europe and Graeme McDowell (L) support their team mates during the  Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Rory McIlroy of Europe and Graeme McDowell (L) support their team mates during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Sam Greenwood

Graeme McDowell of Europe celebrates winning his match on the 17th green during the  Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Graeme McDowell of Europe celebrates winning his match on the 17th green during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Jamie Squire

Dustin Johnson's partner Amanda Caulder looks on during the  Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Dustin Johnson's partner Amanda Caulder looks on during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Andrew Redington

Luke Donald of Europe smiles with wife Diane during the  Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Luke Donald of Europe smiles with wife Diane during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Jamie Squire

A cart passes through the rain and mud during the weather delay prior to the restart of the Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

A cart passes through the rain and mud during the weather delay prior to the restart of the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Richard Heathcote

Rory McIlroy (R) of Europe celebrates holing a putt  with team mate Graeme McDowell to wiin their match on the 17th green during the  Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Rory McIlroy (R) of Europe celebrates holing a putt with team mate Graeme McDowell to wiin their match on the 17th green during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Jamie Squire

Holly Sweeney

Holly Sweeney

USA Captain Corey Pavin waits alongside Dustin Johnson, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods on the 18th green during the Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

USA Captain Corey Pavin waits alongside Dustin Johnson, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods on the 18th green during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Jamie Squire

Europe Captain Colin Montgomerie (L) reacts with Vice Captain Sergio Garcia during the  Fourball &amp; Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Europe Captain Colin Montgomerie (L) reacts with Vice Captain Sergio Garcia during the Fourball & Foursome Matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 3, 2010 in Newport, Wales

Jamie Squire

Holly Sweeney

Holly Sweeney

Fans watch through binoculars whilst wering Dragon hats during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor

Fans watch through binoculars whilst wering Dragon hats during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor

David Davies

Euorpean captain's wife Gaynor Montgomerie during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

Euorpean captain's wife Gaynor Montgomerie during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

David Davies

Europe's Ian Poulter is mobbed by fans as he makes his way off the 17th green after victory in the fourballs during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

Europe's Ian Poulter is mobbed by fans as he makes his way off the 17th green after victory in the fourballs during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

David Davies

Europe's Rory McIlroy acknowledges the crowd during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

Europe's Rory McIlroy acknowledges the crowd during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

Lynne Cameron

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Europe's Miguel Angel Jimenez smokes a cigar after completing his round during the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Newport

Europe take a remarkable three-point lead into today's singles at the Ryder Cup after a quite stunning session at Celtic Manor.

From 6-4 down overnight Colin Montgomerie will go into the fourth day - needed for the first time in the event's history because of yet another rain delay - with a 9 1/2-6 1/2 lead over the stunned Americans.

"It is the Sunday we have probably all dreamt about," said Padraig Harrington. "Unfortunately there is a Monday."

With Italian Francesco Molinari birdieing the final hole of the day to grab a half with his brother Edoardo, Corey Pavin's side look in all sorts of trouble as they try to retain the trophy.

With Tiger Woods crashing to the worst match play defeat of his whole career and Phil Mickelson becoming the American with more defeats than any other since the contest started in 1927, it is going to take a monumental effort to turn the tide.

Europe need only four of the 12 singles to triumph. The United States, who have not won away since 1993, will have to take 7 1/2 points for a tie that would enable them to return home with the cup.

No wonder Montgomerie beamed after his men had dropped only half a point in the competition's first six-game session.

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"That's incredible what happened there," he said.

"All credit to every one of them. This is what the word momentum is all about and when Woods loses 6&5 (to an inspired Lee Westwood and Luke Donald) that helped us all through.

"It was a fantastic day and my singles order has changed now. The best I thought we could do was 8-8."

A much less happy Pavin said: "I am really proud of the guys because they fought hard and hopefully we can figure out how to do it."

He will be presumably be reminding Woods, Mickelson and the rest that in Boston in 1999 they trailed 10-6 and won. But the rowdy crowd played a part there and they do not have that help now.

A sign had been put up on the European team door - "Team USA are going to come out fast. Make sure we are coming out faster" - and how they did when the action resumed at 1.30pm following more torrential downpours.

Four up overnight, Westwood's first shot was a 35-footer for a two at the 10th.

He and Donald then birdied the next two as well and Westwood's six-foot putt on the 13th sent Woods and Steve Stricker to their first defeat in seven games together.

It also extended Westwood's record against Woods in the event to an astonishing six wins and only one defeat, while Donald's six foursomes since his debut in 2004 have produced six wins.

"Westy's putt on the 10th (his first shot of the day) was just magnificent," Donald said. "It was just amazing to see that go in.

"It was nice to show they were beatable."

On his record against Woods, the man he could replace as world number one in Scotland next Sunday, Westwood stated: "When you play Tiger you seem to up your game and it seems like you go out with nothing to lose.

"But that was great scoring foursomes." They were five under par.

It became 6-6 when Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy - "GMac" and "Wee Mac" now - finally got their first win together after a half and a loss.

They beat Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan 3&1 in a scintillating finish.

Three up with four to play, McDowell sank an 18-footer for a half at the 15th, Johnson replied with a 30-foot putt on the next and McIlroy, with two for it, rolled in a 25-foot effort at the short 17th.

McDowell won the US Open in June but commented: "This is completely different - this is pure adrenaline and it's a chance to experience it with one of your best friends.

"It's been an honour and this is the best show on Earth as far as golf goes - I love it."

McIlroy, who last year called the match "an exhibition", is a convert now and said: "To get that first win is fantastic and to do it alongside this guy makes it even more special."

The other four games were fourballs and Europe also took the first of those when Ross Fisher emulated McIlroy with a putt almost as long at the 17th to end the resistance of Jim Furyk and Dustin Johnson.

That gave Fisher and Padraig Harrington their second victory together and the Irishman was certainly impressed by the partner with whom he had ended 10 games without a single victory.

He gushed: "Quality-wise he played the best anybody has ever played at the Ryder Cup."

Not that Fisher was taking all the credit. "I got him to read my putts and just felt so confident."

Miguel Angel Jimenez and debutant Peter Hanson, beaten by Woods and Stricker at foursomes, then opened their tally and made it 8-6 with a last green success over Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton.

The key hole there was the 16th, with Jimenez sinking a 20-footer and Overton missing from half the distance, but moments before that Hanson had made a brilliant up and down from the edge of the hazard for a half in birdie threes.

The bottom game was the next to end and again it was Europe winning it.

Martin Kaymer kept his unbeaten record on his debut, but while he did not have a birdie Ian Poulter had five and the one on the 15th was absolutely crucial.

With his partner taking a double bogey Poulter was in rough off the tee on the driveable par four, but chipped to seven feet and made it not just for a half, but for a win.

That left the stage to the first brothers to play in the event since 1963.

They were also the only Europeans not to make a contribution in the match. Until, that is, Francesco pitched to three feet on the par five 18th and holed it - after a number of nervy earlier misses - to deny Matt Kuchar and Stewart Cink what would have been America's only success.


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