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Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood celebrate against Jay Haas and Chris DiMarco during the afternoon foursomes at the 35th Ryder Cup Matches at the Oakland Hills Country Club on September, 18 2004. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood celebrate against Jay Haas and Chris DiMarco during the afternoon foursomes at the 35th Ryder Cup Matches at the Oakland Hills Country Club on September, 18 2004. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Europe Dominate Foursomes For Record Lead

Europe take a record 11-5 lead into the final-day singles after another sensational day at Oakland Hills which saw Europe take the second foursomes 3-1.


September 18, 2004

From the moment rookies Paul Casey and David Howell won their dramatic match on the 18th in the morning fourballs, the momentum was with the European Team and they charged into a record lead.

Twice before Europe have reached the 10 and a half point mark - in 1987 and 1997 - and both times Europe went on to win although both went all the way. Never before has a team made up more than a four point deficit and Europe are remain on course for their fourth win in the last five Ryder Cup Matches.

The Casey / Howell win in the morning was a huge blow for the US Team and from that point Europe was in the ascendancy. Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood led from the front in the afternoon, crushing the previously unbeaten partnership of Jay Haas and Chris DiMarco 5 and 4, equalling the week's biggest winning margin.

In the second match Phil Mickelson and David Toms, back in action after sitting out the morning session, appeared determined to prove a point against Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Levet. The putts refused to drop for the European pair and the US duo emerged comfortable 4 and 3 winners.

But it was the last two matches on the course that held the greatest significance. Hal Sutton had put his big guns in the anchor match - Tiger Woods and David Love III - but they came up against the determined Irish pairing of Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley. The Americans started well, two up after two, but they were the last holes they won as the Irish pair turned on the style and slowly reeled them in until they were one up at the turn.

Once ahead they pulled away, Harrington sealing victory with a five foot putt on the 15th for a 4 and 3 win and the Irish fans erupted. It was McGinley first win in The Ryder Cup and another crucial point for Europe.

That left the young European pairing of Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia out on the course in a tense match against Jim Furyk and Fred Funk. The Europeans won the first and never looked back, never falling behind but the Americans hung on doggedly, fighting back from three down with four to play and two down with two to play to take the match down the last.

But for a second successive session, a young English rookie rose to the challenge on the final green. The Americans were on in two and Donald, after a perfect drive from Garcia, played safely to the middle of the green. After both teams hit good long distance putts, Furyk held his nerve to make a four putting the pressure on Donald to make the three footer to win the match. He was up for the challenge and in the putt dropped to cap a wonderful session for the European cause.

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