Europe in con­trol, sets sights on Cup

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Sports - By Doug Fer­gu­son As­so­ci­ated Press

SAINT-QUENTIN-ENYVELINES, France — Francesco Moli­nari and Tommy Fleet­wood walked down the fair­way af­ter de­liv­er­ing an­other big point in the Ry­der Cup, side by side with their arms around each other’s shoul­der.

Here came “Moli­wood” at Le Golf Na­tional, the lat­est Ry­der Cup sen­sa­tion and the first Euro­pean tan­dem to win all four matches since the cur­rent for­mat be­gan in 1979. Even more sat­is­fy­ing was that three of those points came at the ex­pense of Tiger Woods.

But this was no time to cel­e­brate.

“We came here to do a job, and it wasn’t to go in the record books or any­thing like that,” Moli­nari said.

And now they have to do it by them­selves.

Ev­ery­thing points to Europe tak­ing back the pre­cious gold tro­phy Sun­day, start­ing from a 10-6 lead that re­quires Europe to win only 41⁄2 points from the 12 sin­gles matches on the fi­nal day.

Woods hasn’t won any of his three matches.

Phil Mick­el­son didn’t even play Sat­ur­day.

Europe filled the board with its blue scores right from the start, win­ning three of the four matches in four­balls for an 8-4 lead, its largest af­ter three ses­sions in 14 years. It held on in four­somes, with Hen­rik Sten­son de­liv­er­ing clutch putts in the only match that was close.

But the score should sound fa­mil­iar, and enough to make them cau­tious.

That’s the same deficit Europe faced in 2012 at Me­d­i­nah when it pro­duced the largest come­back on for­eign soil. The Amer­i­cans have never made up that much ground away from home, though they were the first to win af­ter trail­ing 10-6, at Brook­line in 1999 when they front-loaded the Sun­day lineup with their big­gest stars.

And that was on the mind of Europe cap­tain Thomas Bjorn

“We go ahead to­mor­row and fo­cus on what’s ahead and not what’s done,” Bjorn said. “We are so well aware of what’s stand­ing across on the other side — the great­est play­ers in the world. I would never get ahead of my­self in this.

“His­tory will show me and every­body on this team that it’s not over.”


Tiger Woods, right, fell to 0-3 at this year’s Ry­der Cup af­ter he and Bryson DeCham­beau lost in four­somes Sat­ur­day.

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