The United States extended its Ryder Cup lead on Saturday afternoon, thanks in large part to a spirited performance from Patrick Reed.
With six birdies, an eagle, and no help from Jordan Spieth, Reed single-handedly took out Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson in the final team matchup, giving the United States a three-point advantage over Europe heading into Sunday’s singles action.
Captain Davis Love III’s pairings of Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar, and J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore also secured points in Saturday’s Four-Ball, but by much different means. The latter team led throughout, defeating Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia 2 and 1. Holmes, meanwhile, was solid for the United States, claiming seven birdies, but he and Moore were gifted the point late when Lee Westwood missed consecutive short-range putts on Nos. 17 and 18.
Europe’s Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters won their third consecutive Ryder Cup match, giving Europe its only win of the afternoon and becoming just the second pair ever to go undefeated in three-plus matches. Their win – 3 and 1 over Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka – briefly saw the Europeans come all the way back after falling behind 4-0 in the opening session.
With 9 1/2 points through two days of competition, the Americans need five Sunday to reclaim the trophy for the first time since 2008 at Valhalla.