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USA 10, Europe 6; Ian Poulter goes absolutely crazy to give Europe a chance

By Shane Bacon | Blogger
Ian Poulter's five birdies to close out his match was stuff of legends. (AP)

The afternoon fourball matches started out fairly slow, but it was far from that at the end. Three of the four matches ended on the 18th hole, with the last match being the most exciting of the day. The Americans hold a 10-6 advantage heading into the singles matches, but the Europeans gave themselves a chance toward the end of the Saturday matches with some solid finishes by some of their big names.

Match #13 -- Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar defeat Nicolas Colsaerts and Paul Lawrie 1-up -- The trend continued in this American duo, with Kuchar keeping the Americans ahead throughout the match and Johnson making a huge putt at the end to give the USA an edge. It was all square heading into the 17th when Johnson made his mark, rolling in a lengthy birdie putt to one of the loudest roars of the entire week. The Americans were 1-up, and when Colsaerts missed a birdie putt low on the final hole it was a full point for the Americans and allowed Kuchar and Johnson to move to 2-0-0 this week at Medinah.

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Match #14 -- Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson defeat Justin Rose and Francesco Molinari 5 & 4 -- It appears Saturday morning was a fluke, because Bubba and Webb were back to their old ways in the fourballs in the afternoon. The Europeans never won a hole, and after Simpson made four birdies in five holes, Bubba added a birdie of his own on the 14th hole to close out the match.

Match #15 -- Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald defeat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker 1-up -- It looked like the Europeans would roll in this match, going as much as 4-up after Donald made a birdie on the ninth hole, but the Americans clawed back after Tiger made a birdie on No. 10 and Stricker added one of his own on No. 12. Donald seemed to put things out of reach with his birdie on No. 15 but Tiger did what Tiger does, rolling in birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 to give the Americans a chance at a half-point, but Stricker's birdie putt on the last lipped out and the American duo that was so successful before dropped to 0-3-0 for the week.

Match #16 -- Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter defeat Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson 1-up -- The match of the week for sure, Dufner and Johnson were in control with six holes to go, standing 2-up on Poulter and McIlroy. Rory made a birdie on the 13th, and then it was the Poulter show as the Ryder Cup kingpin made five consecutive birdies to end the match 1-up on the Americans and give the Euros a chance on Sunday in singles. Nobody has ever come back from an 11-5 lead, but Poulter's play allowed the Europeans a chance to do what the USA did in 1999, and his reactions, like the one above, are priceless stuff from Medinah.

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