Europe trail 11-5 going into Sunday’s Ryder Cup singles but Shane Lowry believes they can still overhaul the United States after his win alongside Tyrrell Hatton; Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia win again but Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter remain pointless
Last Updated: 26/09/21 1:15am
Shane Lowry declared he “won’t stop believing” after keeping Europe’s slim Ryder Cup hopes alive by securing a vital point alongside Tyrrell Hatton in the fourballs.
The Irishman nailed an 11-foot par putt at the 18th to secure a 1up victory over Tony Finau and Harris English as the Saturday afternoon session at Whistling Straits was drawn 2-2.
That left the United States with an 11-5 lead going into Sunday’s singles and needing only three-and-a-half-points to win back the trophy, but Lowry is not ready to throw in the towel just yet after a fine performance which saw him hole several other vital putts.
“I’ve always wanted to play in a Ryder Cup and obviously we’re a few points behind but I’m not stopping believing anyway,” he told Sky Sports. “I don’t care. I’m having the week of my life here, honestly, I really am. It’s just been incredible. It’s an incredible experience.
“I really hope we can go out and give them loads tomorrow and just put up a good performance and you just never know. This morning I was thinking of Medinah, of a lot of things, and I just think there’s such a good bond in our team. We didn’t get the breaks yesterday, we got hosed and it’s disappointing, but out there today we were fighting as hard as we can.
“Everyone is out there trying their hardest and that’s all we can do and I’m so happy I could bring a point to my team.
“You just never know. Twelve players going against 12 of their players, you just don’t know. If you can get off to a good start and get some blue on the board, and if we can win three or four of the games early on, you just never know. Golf is a funny game.
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“This golf course, personally I hope the wind stays open, I hope it’s quite windy and go out and hopefully batten down the hatches and play some good golf. If you’ve got a chance, you just never know.”
As for his winning putt, Lowry added: “I said before my putt ‘I’m made for this’. I didn’t know I was going to hole it, but I knew I was going to try my best and I’m so happy it went in.”
Hatton added: “Shane played amazing today. Got us going. Kept us in it for large periods of the match. Personally I played a little bit better on the back nine and had a few important holes.
“But yeah, it was such a massive putt for him to hole. I guess I had my moment yesterday and I’m absolutely delighted for Shane today to hole that putt, such an important point.”
Europe’s other point came from reliable Spanish duo Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia as they claimed their third win together by beating Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth 2&1.
Rahm said: “I’ve been making every putt that I need to, and then some. When you do things like that, it gives you a lot of confidence, right. It gets to a point where I started freeing myself up a little bit and now just knowing that, you know, just feeling good, so putting it on the green, I’ll have a good chance.
“I’d like to believe that things even out. So tomorrow, if we get off to a good start, kind of like what happened in 2012, and things start going our way, you never know.
“Golf is a very complicated and ironic and sarcastic game sometimes, and teams can be capable of some great things, like the US has done so far the last two days. It could be our chance, and I know everybody on the team is going to give it their all and give that a run.”
Garcia paid tribute to Rahm, adding: “I told him the absolute truth. I told him that not only me but the whole team is proud of him no matter if he goes 5-0 or 0-5; that we love him and that we are always proud of the effort that he makes and the heart that he puts into his golf and into the team. It’s as simple as that.”
Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter had been touted as one of Europe’s star pairings but they both remain pointless after going down 4&3 to in-form American duo Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa.
McIlroy said: “Yeah, we were up against it again. Look, DJ and Collin are a good team and they played very, very well. Even though we tried to throw a bit at them at the back nine, they always seemed to answer it. Collin closed the match out with two really good birdies on 14 and 15.
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“Obviously disappointing. Disappointing not to contribute a point for the team yet. So hopefully just go out tomorrow and try my best to get a point, and hopefully we can rally and at last give them something to maybe sweat about tomorrow in the middle of the afternoon.”
Poulter added: “We’re not in a good position and it’s going to take a beyond monumental effort. So we need a couple of miracles.”
Morikawa said: “This has been so much fun, best team event we could ask for, and we’re playing well and want to finish it off, but it’s been very enjoyable.”
Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler secured USA’s other point after they fought back to defeat Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland 3&1.
DeChambeau said: “We haven’t had this good of an opportunity in a long time and hopefully we can get the job done tomorrow. We’ve got to focus like it’s 0-0 again and try to get every point we can.”
DeChambeau, who was claiming his first full point, earlier showed his frustration at the first hole when he gestured with his putter after not being conceded a short putt.
He said: “It was nothing. It was straight up the hill. It’s one of those things that for me I felt like it probably should have been given just as a courtesy but it wasn’t, and I knocked it in the hole and kind of made a funny gesture just in good jesting and that got me a little heated up for the rest of the round.”
Can Europe make a historic comeback and retain the Ryder Cup? Watch ‘Live from the Ryder Cup’ from 2pm on Sky Sports’ dedicated Ryder Cup channel on Sunday, ahead of full coverage of the singles from 5pm.
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