The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

US stars Jor­dan Spi­eth and Pa­trick Reed won Ry­der Cup brag­ging rights over Europe’s top duo of Justin Rose and Hen­rik Sten­son, thanks to Tiger Woods get­ting them the chance.

Reed and Spi­eth de­feated Rose and Sten­son 2 and 1 in four-balls on Satur­day for a sec­ond vic­tory in three matches at Hazel­tine, hav­ing split two meet­ings on Fri­day.

“We wanted Rose and Sten­son again. They wanted to play us again,” Spi­eth said.

“We wanted them in this best­ball for­mat and so we were very pleased to get the call to go back out for our fourth match of the week.”

That call al­most never came, US cap­tain Davis Love said, be­cause there were sev­eral line­ups floated for af­ter­noon four-balls pair­ings, some with Spi­eth and Reed sit­ting out.

“We had a lot of sce­nar­ios,” Love ad­mit­ted. “Ev­ery­body was tex­ting me their lineup. We got a lit­tle pan­icky be­cause ev­ery­body had a dif­fer­ent idea. Even my son threw a lineup out. He’s my cart driver.”

Woods, a 14-time ma­jor win­ner and US as­sis­tant cap­tain who has missed more than a year with a back in­jury, be­came Love’s de­cider.

“I fi­nally just said to Tiger, ‘Are we play­ing them or are we sit­ting them?’” Love said.

“He said, ‘No, you have to send them back out there, they are play­ing so well.’”

Reed and Spi­eth dropped four of the last six holes to halve a morn­ing four­somes match they had led since the sec­ond hole against Spa­niards Ser­gio Gar­cia and Rafa Cabr­era Bello.

But they got an­other chance in the af­ter­noon against Rose and Sten­son. “We know how stout that team is be­cause they had not lost a match in Ry­der Cup play to­gether un­til this week. And we love that chal­lenge,” Spi­eth said. “We hadn’t lost a match in Ry­der Cup play to­gether un­til this week, so we thought, why not throw us against them.” Reed won four holes in a row start­ing at the fifth, a hole-out ea­gle at the par-5 sixth help­ing move the US from 1-down to 3-up. Af­ter Rose and Sten­son pulled within 1-down when Rose birdied 13, Reed won 14 and 15 with birdies to help end the rally. “They were un­be­liev­able,” Rose said. “Pa­trick was in­spired. He was in­tense. Just every time he had a wedge in his hand, he pun­ished us, he got it up-and-down. It was in­cred­i­ble to watch. “I think he was prob­a­bly 10-un­der on his own ball. I think he beat us sin­gle-handed to­day. It was pretty amaz­ing.”

“No doubt, Rory (McIl­roy), Hen­rik (Sten­son), JR (Justin Rose), Ser­gio (Gar­cia), Lee ( West­wood), Martin (Kaymer) are all the se­nior guys. But in terms of the whole thing, ev­ery­body’s ex­actly the same,” Clarke said.

Europe’s rookie con­tin­gent won four, lost four and halved one match through the first three ses­sions.

Cabr­era Bello is un­beaten while be­ing paired with Gar­cia as they de­feated JB Holmes and Ryan Moore 3 and 2 in four­ball on Fri­day. They fol­lowed that up by halv­ing an al­ter­nate shot four­some against Jor­dan Spi­eth and Pa­trick Reed on Satur­day.

The big­gest star of the new­bies for Europe has been 24-year-old Pi­eters, who has been paired with world No. 3 McIl­roy and will have played in all five matches when play­ers from both sides com­pete in 12 sin­gles matches to­day.

Bel­gium’s Pi­eters, who made the team as a cap­tain’s pick, said he was ner­vous at the be­gin­ning of his first Ry­der Cup but is start­ing to feel more com­fort­able around the other play­ers.

“It was cool to see how pas­sion­ate those guys are, and I think that I still need to learn be­cause I’ve been pretty quiet,” Pi­eters said.

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