The United States take a commanding 11-5 lead into the final day of the Ryder Cup on Sunday, despite Europe showing signs of life in splitting Saturday afternoon’s four-balls matches.
World number two Dustin Johnson notched his fourth win of the week, teaming with Collin Morikawa in a 4&3 four-balls victory over European stalwarts Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy, whose dismal week at Whistling Straits continued.
Scottie Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau grabbed another point, rallying from 1-down against Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland on the way to a 3&1 victory.
For Europe, Spanish compatriots Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia teamed for another victory, never trailing in a 2&1 win over Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth.
Shane Lowry and Tyrrell Hatton gained another point for Europe. They never trailed either, but had to battle to the bitter end, Lowry sinking a 10-foot par putt to tie the 18th hole and beat Tony Finau and Harris English 1-up.
The split gave Europe their best showing of the four sessions so far, but left them with a mountain to climb in Sunday’s 12 singles matches.
The United States need 14.5 points to regain the Cup, while Europe need 14 to retain the trophy they won in France four years ago.
The six-point lead is the biggest US lead after two days since they led by nine on the way to victory in 1975 — when the competition featured America against Britain and Ireland.
More to the point, neither Europe nor the United States has come back from a deficit of more than four points on the final day to win the coveted trophy.
The Americans rallied from 10-6 down on Sunday to win at Brookline in 1999 and Europe fought back from 10-6 in the “Miracle at Medinah” in 2012.
Europe started the day trailing 6-2 and were unable to make a move in the morning’s foursomes.
For the second straight day, Garcia and Rahm were Europe’s only foursomes winners, rallying from 3-down through five holes to beat Koepka and Daniel Berger 3&1 in the opening match.
But the European fightback ended there as the Americans rallied to win two more matches and led all the way to victory in a third.