Memories of Medinah fuel belief for Europe
Pádraig Harrington admits thoughts of the Miracle at Medinah will not be far away as Europe look to complete the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history on Sunday.
The United States take a six point lead at 11-5 into the 12 singles matches, knowing that 3½ points will see them win back the trophy Europe took from them three years ago in Paris.
The Europeans meanwhile need nine points to retain, which is half a point more than they won on that fateful Sunday nine years ago as they came back from 10-6 down to shock the world and take the Ryder Cup back across the Atlantic.
Medinah is the only Ryder Cup that Harrington has not been involved in as either a player, Vice Captain or Captain since 1999, when he found himself on the wrong end of a United States comeback from 10-6 down at Brookline
But Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, along with this year's Vice Captains Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell were all in the team in Chicago, and Harrington is fully aware that anything can happen on Sunday at a Ryder Cup.
"There's no doubt that's going to be very strong on our minds," he said of Medinah. "Even reversing it to Brookline. I know that was a four point gap. These things can be done.
We are going on out there until the end. We are not going to give up, that's for sure
"I'm sure they know they have a very tall order ahead of them, but it's still possible.
"It's only half a point more than we won in the singles at Medinah and, just individually, it's not really that important in the sense of the team.
"They have to just go out there and win their own individual match. There's nothing more they can do than that. They have to focus on that and not look at that bigger picture. Focus on their individual self and play their game and win that and then just see how it adds up."
All four of the Medinah veterans who will tee it up at Whistling Straits won their singles matches nine years ago, and Garcia - who has won three points from three so far this week - insists Europe will be going out believing they can win again.
"Everybody knows one thing: we are going on out there until the end," he said. "We are not going to give up, that's for sure and, you know, I love these guys. They are freaking amazing. Every time I think of them, I want to cry. They are unbelievable.
"I will give my all to them and I know they will do the same thing for me. We are going to try our hardest. We know it's going to be difficult but we're going to do our best."
We've still got a chance. You're never out of the fight
Garcia's three points this week have come alongside fellow Spaniard Jon Rahm and the World Number One - who will have played all five sessions once the week is over - was also refusing to give up.
"From what I hear, the team is playing good," he said. "Just putts not dropping in and a couple of things here and there that just could happen that haven't happened.
"I'd like to believe that things even out. So tomorrow, if we get off to a good start, kind of like what happened in 2012, and things start going our way, you never know. You never know.
"Golf is a very complicated and ironic and sarcastic game sometimes and teams can be capable of some great things, like the US has done so far the last two days. It could be our chance and I know everybody on the team is going to give it their all and give that a run."
Miracles do happen...#TeamEurope #RyderCup pic.twitter.com/SVluPxSLwx— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) September 26, 2021
Shane Lowry and Tyrrell Hatton were the only European pair to claim a full point in the first four sessions outside of Rahm and Garcia, and they too were fully focused on fighting until the end.
“I’ve always wanted to play in a Ryder Cup," said Lowry. "We’re a few points behind but I’m not stopping believing. I hope we can go out tomorrow and give them loads.
"You just never know. All morning this morning, I was thinking, thinking of Medinah, thinking of a lot of things. And I just think there's just such a good bond in our team room."
Hatton added: "We've still got a chance. You're never out of the fight. Obviously we need a huge day tomorrow. Obviously that putt from Shane there on the last was huge and hopefully that gives us some momentum now going into tomorrow."