Lee Westwood became the joint fifth highest Ryder Cup points scorer of all time as Europe left the United States reeling on the ropes after another extraordinary day in golf’s biggest grudge match.
The US, who trailed 5-3 overnight, edged a record-breaking morning fourballs by 2 1/2 points to 1 1/2 but the holders administered a blow to the solar plexus by taking 3 1/2 points from the afternoon foursomes to open a commanding 10-6 overall lead.
Wildcard selection Westwood, sent out in the opening foursomes with rookie Jamie Donaldson for the second successive day, repaid the faith of captain Paul McGinley as the pair eased past Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar 2 & 1.
Westwood’s win helped him join the great Arnold Palmer on 23 Ryder Cup points, with only Nick Faldo (25), Bernhard Langer (24), Billy Casper (23 1/2) and Colin Montgomerie (23 1/2) ahead of him.
“I get a huge amount of satisfaction out of that,” Westwood told reporters. “There are no easy games out there and we only made one bogey which is pretty good going in foursomes.”
Graeme McDowell and debutant Victor Dubuisson also made it two victories out of two in the alternate-shot format as they romped to a 5 & 4 triumph over Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler.
World numbers one and three Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia posted five birdies in 16 holes as they dismissed Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan 3 & 2 while Justin Rose combined with Martin Kaymer to halve their match with unbeaten rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed.