Europeans will try to re-enact Battle of Brookline at Ryder Cup

Team Europe golfer Ian Poulter celebrates after sinking a birdie putt on the 18th green to win his...

Team Europe golfer Ian Poulter celebrates after sinking a birdie putt on the 18th green to win his match during the afternoon four-ball round during the Ryder Cup at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill., Sept. 29, 2012. (MATT SULLIVAN/Reuters)

TIM McKAY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:23 PM ET

Remember Brookline.

Could that become a rallying cry for the Europeans heading into Sunday singles at Medinah Country Club trailing 10-6?

Known as the "Battle of Brookline," the 1999 Ryder Cup produced an unlikely American victory after the Yanks charged back from four points down, the largest comeback in the event's history. That has to be in the back of the Europeans' minds going into Sunday, buoyed by Ian Poulter's final-match heroics to earn his squad a full point as the sun set Saturday.

Running up against the hottest team in the competition Saturday morning in Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, then four-ball killers Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson in the afternoon, the Europeans have dug themselves a hole about six feet deep with the Americans poised to start throwing in dirt in Sunday.

Maybe European captain Jose Maria Olazabal ought to dust off 1999 American captain Ben Crenshaw's speech to the media from that Saturday night 13 years ago:

"I'm a big believer in fate," Crenshaw said. "I have a good feeling about tomorrow. That's all I'm gonna say."

Call it fate, call it confidence, call it whatever you want, but the Europeans desperately need to channel some of Crenshaw's magic now.

"Ben Crenshaw said it can happen and I just really feel if we can get close ... you never know," Justin Rose, one of two Europeans who will have played all five sessions, said after his 5-and-4 loss to Watson and Simpson with partner Francesco Molinari. "I think (if we can get some momentum going Sunday), it will start to get a little bit frantic out here and the American team will feel that."

The similarities to Brookline are there, this time with the tables turned.

In 1999 after the Saturday morning session, the Europeans held an 8-4 lead. After three sessions here, the Americans held an 8-4 lead. In the afternoon in 1999, the Europeans pushed their lead to 10-6, the U.S. has a 10-6 lead this time around.

In 1999, American Tiger Woods had won just one point of a possible four. This time, he's 0-for-3 after sitting out Saturday's morning matches, the first time he's been benched in his Ryder Cup career.

The biggest difference, however, is that the Americans rallied at the urging of their own fans, a luxury that won't be afforded to Europe at Medinah.

European Graeme McDowell had a sporting attitude as well, despite his poor play in losing two sessions and getting Saturday afternoon off.

"It's absolutely still alive, there's no doubt about it ... We have 12 big singles matches (Sunday) and it has happened," McDowell said. "We've got to play great but we can absolutely come back from here."

American captain Davis Love III was there in 1999 as a player, as was Olazabal, so both know first-hand a big lead can be evaporated with some momentum.

Olazabal said that he's not going to let his charges get ahead of themselves in the Ryder Cup he so dearly covets.

"Now we're just going to get them to think about where you want to play tomorrow. Do you want to go first, do you want to go last, middle? We are going to have a fun night tonight and just come back out tomorrow a little bit more rested."

Olazabal said getting on a roll is important.

"Momentum will come our way, why not tomorrow," he said.

Bubba Watson, perhaps the most excitable player on the American side, was playing it cool too.

"Tomorrow, anything can happen, we've seen the Americans come back and the Europeans come back," he said. "There are 12 points on the board for tomorrow so no matter what the lead is ... there's a lot of golf to be played."

Sure, there's a lot of golf to be played, but the Americans likely have this thing salted away. One can only hope for some sort of charge out of the Europeans to inject some level of drama into this thing. The 1999 Ryder Cup was the Battle of Brookline, but should the the trend continue, this one could be known as The Mauling at Medinah.

"There's blood in the water and they are up for it," the always-eloquent McDowell said. "They have got a head of steam up and we have got to try to stop it."

SATURDAY'S RESULTS

TOTAL POINTS

U.S. 10, Europe 6

MORNING FOURSOMES (ALTERNATE SHOTS)

Match 1

Europe wins 1-up
Europe: Justin Rose, Ian Poulter
U.S.: Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson

Match 2

U.S. wins 7 and 6
Europe: Lee Westwood, Luke Donald
U.S.: Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson

Match 3

U.S. wins 2 and 1
Europe: Nicolas Colsaerts, Sergio Garcia
U.S.: Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson

Match 4

U.S. wins 1-up
Europe: Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell
U.S.: Jim Furky, Brandt Snedeker

AFTERNOON FOUR-BALL

Match 1

U.S. wins 1-up
Europe: Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul Lawrie
U.S.: Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar

Match 2

U.S. wins 5 and 4
Europe: Justin Rose, Francesco Molinari
U.S.: Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson

Match 3

Europe wins 1-up

Europe: Sergia Garcia, Luke Donald
U.S.: Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker

Match 4

Europe wins 1-up
Europe: Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter
U.S.: Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner


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