Ian Poulter put the first European point on the board (Getty Images)
Poulter gets Europe going
Ian Poulter, Europe’s leading points scorer at the last Ryder Cup, secured the first victory of the final session for Captain Colin Montgomerie’s Team.
Poulter took his personal points tally to three out of a possible four with a 5&4 victory over American Ryder Cup Rookie Matt Kuchar.
He said: “Getting that first bit of blue on the board is massive. Looking at the board right now, the middle section is mostly blue, so obviously we got off to a good start. It was always going to be a tough game against Kuch. He’s won all his matches so far, so I knew I had to come out and play really strong today.”
Poulter was swiftly backed up by Rory McIlroy, who ensured his titanic battle against Stewart Cink finished all square with a brilliant bunker shot – at the second attempt – and a nerveless par putt from four feet on the 18th green.
He said: “I played such a good bunker shot, the first one, and it just caught on the fringe and came back.
But it was nice to have an opportunity to get the halve. I’ve had three great matches with Stewart this week, and I thought today we both played very, very well. A halve is probably what we both deserved. The atmosphere out there was electric. I wouldn’t have said this a year ago, but this is the best event in golf, by far.”
Europe’s second win of a thrilling afternoon so far was recorded by England’s Luke Donald, who took the scores to 12-9 in the ‘home’ Team’s favour by defeating Jim Furyk by one hole.
He said: “It feels great. Obviously I knew Jim was going to be a really tough opponent. He’s a very similar player to me, he grinds it out. He put some pressure on me at the end, but I was glad to get a point. It’s tight, we have still got some leads and we’re behind in some matches, so anything can happen. I’ll get out there and cheer the boys on.”