Tour Report: Saturday p.m. Four-ball updates

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Redington/Getty ImagesBubba Watson and Webb Simpson are playing their third match together this week.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

MEDINAH, Ill. – Saturday afternoon’s Four-ball session in the the 39th Ryder Cup is under way at Medinah County Club. Check back for updates throughout the day.

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7:40 p.m. – The United States will take a 10-6 lead into Sunday’s Singles. Only once has a team rallied from that deficit and that was in 1999 when the U.S. took that thrilling victory. European Captain Jose Maria Olazabal played on the wrong side of the clinching match that day so he knows it can be done.

“At one point, momentum will come our way,” Olazabal said. “And maybe it will be tomorrow.”

7:36 p.m. – As the sun dipped down over the horizon, Dufner made a 5-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to put the pressure on Poulter. Not to worry – the passionate Brit made his fifth straight birdie, this one from 12 feet, to snatch victory and some momentum from the Americans. Europe wins: 1 up 

7:28 p.m. – Stricker lipped out an 8-footer for birdie at the 18th hole that would have given the Americans half a point. Instead, the Europeans win their first point of the afternoon and Stricker and Woods are now 0-3 for the week.  Europe wins: 1 up

7:20 p.m. – McIlroy smiles and shakes his head as Poulter makes his fourth straight birdie from 12 feet at the 17th hole. Zach Johnson answers from 5 feet but Europe leads 1 up as the two teams head to the 18th hole.

7:09 p.m. – Poulter shows why he’s so good at match play when he drains a gut-check of a 15-footer for the winning birdie at the 16th hole. The place erupts as Poulter celebrates by repeatedly pumping both fists by his side – and Europe has its first lead of the match.

7:05 p.m. — Donald saved the best for last after Woods hit his tee shot to 5 feet and Garcia’s landed 10 feet from the pin at the par-3 17th. Woods made his birdie but Donald’s from 2 feet also found the bottom of the cup. Europe heads to the 18th 1 up and guaranteed at last a half point.

6:57 p.m. – Woods is clearly energized by the cheers, the pressure and the caliber of the competition. He stakes his approach at the 16th hole to 9 feet and makes the birdie putt – walking it in and pointing at the hole. Europe’s lead has been cut to 1 up.

6:50 p.m. – Dustin Johnson and Kuchar picked up the second U.S. point of the afternoon when Colsaerts failed to convert a 12-footer for birdie at the 18th hole that would have halved the match. Johnson’s birdie at the 17th – which was just his second of the day – provided the winning margin. U.S. wins: 1 up. 

6:46 p.m. – The trademark stare was there after Ian Poulter blasted out of the bunker to 10 inches at the 15th hole for a conceded birdie and what turned out to be a win that squared the day’s final match. Jason Dufner had a 12-footer for birdie but didn’t get it to the hole.

6:30 p.m. – The U.S. is guaranteed at least a half point when Dustin Johnson pours in a 15-footer for birdie to win the 17th hole after letting Europe square the match with a bogey at the previous hole. The birdie was the second for Johnson in his last four holes, as well as for the day.

6:27 p.m. – Cries of “Luuuuuuuuuuuke” greet Donald’s 6-footer for birdie that moves Europe back to 2 up at the 15th hole. Woods had a 20-footer just before the Brit putted that slid under the hole.

6:18 p.m. – The Americans make a mess of the 16th hole – Kuchar drilling a tree with his second shot and Johnson failing to get his bunker shot on the green – so Europe squares the match with a par. Suddenly the momentum seems to be changing.

6:04 p.m. – Not so fast. Rory McIlroy just drained a 15-footer at the 13th hole for his second birdie of the day to draw Europe back to 1 down. And in his first real display of emotion Saturday afternoon, McIlroy celebrated with a roundhouse punch of the air and high-fived Poulter.

5:42 p.m. – The cheers are deafening at the 13th hole as Woods makes a 4-footer for birdie that trims Europe’s lead to 1 down. The Americans have won three of the four holes since making the turn.

5:29 p.m. – Stricker cuts into Europe’s lead with a 10-footer for birdie at the 12th hole. The Americans have gone from 4 down to 2 down in the last three holes.

5:25 p.m. – Watson nearly drains a 25-footer for eagle at the 14th hole but the conceded birdie is more than enough for the first U.S. victory of the afternoon after Molinari leaves his birdie putt short and Rose’s does a 360 on him. U.S. wins: 5 and 4.

5:03 p.m. – Simpson is almost singlehandedly taking down the Europeans. He just made his seventh birdie of the day, walking that 20-footer into the hole att the 13th, to give the U.S. a 4-up lead.

4:55 p.m. – Woods made his first birdie of the day at the 10th hole, conceded after his lengthy eagle putt stops 2 feet shy of the hole. Donald and Garcia both miss their birdie efforts to halve so their lead is 3 up.

4:45 p.m. – Europe needs a big, big turnaround on the back nine – the largest Sunday comeback is from four back in that amazing U.S. win at Brookline. With Europe holding a 4-up advantage in one match and trailing just 1 down and 2 down in two others, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. But someone wearing lavender has to start making some putts.

4:36 p.m. – Garcia and Donald continue to pour it on Stricker and Woods. Stricker misses an 18-footer for birdie at the ninth hole and ends up holing a 4-footer for par before Donald makes his birdie putt. Europe leads 4 up as the two teams head to the back nine.

4:27 p.m. – Kuchar makes a 15-footer for birdie at the par-5 10th hole and  there’s red on the board again in the first match. Colsaerts tries from 8 feet to tie but he misses so the U.S. leads 1 up.

4:15 p.m. – After Stricker’s 20-footer for birdie dipped in and out of the hole, Donald makes 3-footer to win the eighth hole and put Europe 3 up. 

4:13 p.m. – With Zach Johnson waiting to try one of his own, Dufner calmly rolled in an 8-footer for birdie at the par-5 seventh and the Americans are 2 up.

4:08 p.m. – The first two matches are on the back nine. Simpson just made a 5-footer for birdie at the par-5 10th to put the Americans 3 up over Rose and Molinari. Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar are playing the 10th all square with Colsaerts and Lawrie.

3:35 p.m. – Colsaerts hit his bunker shot at the par-5 seventh to a foot for a conceded birdie that squared the match with Dustin Johnson and Kuchar. The Americans had just lost the sixth hole with a bogey.

3:25 p.m. – Bubba Watson grabs a 2-up lead for the Americans when he gets up and down from a greenside bunker at the par-5 seventh for the team’s fourth birdie of the match.

3:09 p.m. – Stricker cut into the European lead with he made a 10-footer for eagle at the fifth hole to win the hole. Europe’s lead is now 2 up.

3:05 p.m. – Ian Poulter makes a 15-footer for birdie at the fourth hole and Europe is now just 1 down.

2:57 p.m. – The Stricker-Woods pairing continues to struggle. Woods has a case of the “lefts” off the tee and with his second shot so Stricker is basically on his own. He missed a 10-footer for birdie so Woods attempts his chip but misses and then Garcia drains a putt from the fringe for birdie and a 3-up lead.

2:40 p.m. – Kuchar makes a 35-footer for birdie at the fourth hole and the Americans lead Nicolas Colsaerts and Paul Lawrie 2 up. Zach Johnson won the second hole in his match with Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter with a par and the Americans are 2 up in that one, as well.

2:15 p.m. – Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker may have rested in the morning but they are already 2 down. The Americans gave Luke Donald and Garcia – who both had unsuccessful birdie putts — the second hole when Stricker found the water and Woods missed a 6-footer to save par.

2:09 p.m. – Webb Simpson, who struggled with his putter in Saturday morning’s Foursomes session, birdied the third hole to put the Americans 1 up.

2:05 p.m. – Sergio Garcia’s 2-footer for birdie at the first hole is conceded after Steve Stricker misses a 15-footer for birdie at the first hole. Europe has the early 1-up lead.

2:03 p.m. – Matt Kuchar gets some red on the leaderboard early when he makes a 15-footer for birdie at the second hole.

1:40 p.m. – Michael Phelps, the most decorated athlete ever in the Olympics, stops by the NBC booth. The swimmer said playing in the Captain’s Challenge earlier this week at Medinah was his “first nervous experience.” Phelps, the next student on Golf Channel’s “The Haney Project,” said his career-low is a 91. 

1:28 p.m. – President George W. Bush, wearing U.S. Team colors of course, is on the first tee to greet players on both teams.

1:21 p.m. – The afternoon session began as did the last two with Bubba Watson igniting the crowd and hitting his tee shot amid deafening roars. This is actually the second match on the leaderboard but Colsaerts’ Foursome match recently ended and everyone gets 30 minutes between sessions.