After scuffling to a 2-2 split in the morning Foursome matches, Team USA flipped the switch in the afternoon and had an impressive showing in Fourball action at Medinah Country Club, taking three of four matches and jumping out to a 5-3 lead heading into Saturday's play.
The morning started out rough for the US, as Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker lost a heartbreaker to Rory McIlroy and Grame McDowell, who knocked the US pair off, 1-up. The Europeans were 3-up after 11 holes and Furyk/Snedeker fought back to tie it up by winning three holes on the back nine to pull all-square heading into the 17th hole. The pairs pushed on 17 as they both parred the hole, but a bogey on 18 by Furyk/Snedeker sealed the deal for McIlroy/McDowell.
Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley dominated the second match of the day, downing Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia, 4&3. The match was all-square at the turn, and Mickelson/Bradley pulled away at the 12th, winning four holes in a row and closing out the match.
The third match of the morning saw US rookie Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson claim a 3&2 victory over Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari. Despite the win, US captain Davis Love III sat the pair for the afternoon session.
Europe answered back in the final match of the morning, when Ian Poulter and Justin Rose beat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, 2&1. Woods sprayed the ball all over the course, as the pair bogeyed four holes and double bogeyed the par 3 second hole.
The US and Europe were knotted at 2-2 after the morning's action.
The tides turned in Team USA's favor in the afternoon session. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson led the way for the US, as they jumped out to a 6-up lead after eight holes and never looked back, dominating Paul Lawrie and Peter Hanson and finishing, 5&4. The European pair only managed one birdie on the afternoon.
Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley kert things rolling for the US, as they burst out of the gates with three birdies on the first three holes, were 3-up at the turn, and held off Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell down the stretch to claim a victory, 2&1.
The afternoon's third match saw Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar continue the theme, hopping out to a 3-up lead affter seven and finishing off Just Rose and Martin Kaymer, 3&2.
The domination stopped there for the US, as Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker dropped a seesaw battle against Lee Westwood and Nicolas Colsaerts. The European pair won 1-up, and never trailed, but never led by more than 2-up, as Woods/Stricker kept answering back. The pairs alternated birdies on six of the nine holes on the back nine, but Woods/Stricker couldn't string together the consistency to claw all the way back.
Tommorow's action will see continued Foursome and Fourball play. The morning session of Foursome play will start at 7:20 a.m. CST, and the afternoon Fourball action will start at 12:05 p.m. CT.
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