Poulter and Rose had won their second foursomes match on Saturday morning, but were split up for the fourballs in the hope they could inspire new partners to new heights. However, it took until the fifth hole for Europe to register a birdie – albeit Molinari being very close to making an eagle – and when Watson birdied the par-five seventh, the Americans were two up. Rose responded with a birdie on the eighth, only to see Simpson follow him in for a half, and the US Open champion did the same to Molinari on the ninth to stay two up at the turn. Simpson was putting superbly and made it four birdies in succession on the 10th and 11th to extend the lead and leave Rose and Molinari in major trouble.
Simpson rolled in another birdie on the 13th to move four ahead, with Watson happily reduced to being a virtual spectator at this point. Or perhaps not so happily, as the left-hander then smashed two massive shots onto the green on the 609-yard par-five 14th to set up the winning birdie in an emphatic win. “I did the par fives, he did the rest,” Watson said.
T Woods and S Stricker lost to S Garcia and L Donald 1 hole
After being left out of a session for the first time in either the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, Woods was restored to the line-up for the afternoon fourballs but was again struggling to get anything going with Stricker. After Garcia’s birdie on the first gave Europe the lead, Stricker found water off the tee on the second and Woods three-putted for bogey to fall two behind.
Woods was then way left off the tee and with his approach to the fourth, but Garcia made a 25ft birdie putt anyway before Stricker reduced the deficit courtesy of a superb eagle from 10ft on the fifth. Donald then decided to get in on the action and made birdies from a combined distance of seven feet on the eighth and ninth to move four up at the turn.
The standard of play in the fading light was phenomenal and Woods hit a superb tee shot to five feet on the 17th, only for Donald to hit it even closer for a matching birdie. Stricker had the chance to rescue half a point on the last but missed a birdie putt from seven feet as Europe held on.