Golf: Europe's march to Ryder Cup victory delayed as Patrick Cantlay launches USA comeback

Europe are poised for another home Ryder Cup victory five points ahead, but the United States have earned a glimmer of hope by taking the fourballs 3-1 in a tense finale.

Patrick Cantlay birdied the last two holes to win the final fourball and flip the session in America's favour.  

After another scorching Rome day, Europe led 10-1/2-5-1/2 and need four points from the remaining 12 singles to regain the trophy and continue their incredible 30-year unbeaten home run in the biennial competition.

Inspired by a Ryder Cup record 9&7 victory for Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg, Europe took the morning foursomes 3-1 to open up a seven-point lead, with the same four pairings who swept a 4-0 success on Friday.

The shellshocked US team knew, if they were to have any hope of a miracle comeback, they would have to make inroads in the afternoon.

They made a good start, as Sam Burns and Collin Morikawa brought Hovland and Aberg down to earth with a 4&3 win, before the impressive Max Homa and Brian Harman beat Tommy Fleetwood and Nicolai Hojgaard 2&1 to close the gap to five.

All attention then turned to the two tight remaining matches, with most of the 45,000 fans gathering to watch the closing holes, fully aware of the importance of their outcome.

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth have been one of the US team's most productive pairings in recent years. After losing their first two matches, they were desperate to get on the board against Justin Rose and Bob MacIntyre, and led early.

However, the British duo played a brilliant back nine to triumph 3&2, after winning their last two holes to snatch half a point in their first fourball.

The final match was a fantastic battle between Rory McIlroy/Matt Fitzpatrick and Cantlay/ Wyndham Clark.

They halved 11 of the first 13 holes, before McIlroy brilliantly birdied the 14th, and Europe held that lead with two to play, only for the nerveless Cantlay to superbly birdie both.


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