What looked like an unnatainable goal at the start of the final singles session of the 2007 Walker Cup suddenly moved into the realms of the possible as Great Britain & Ireland took three and a half points out of the top four matches. Six and a half is the target if America are to be denied the trophy.
Rory McIlroy led the way with an emphatic 4 and 2 victory over Billy Horschel, opening his round with an eagle three at the 539-yard first hole. He was never behind and three birdies in a five-hole spell from the 12th put the first point on the board for GB&I.
"It's a great way to go out and hopefully the guys behind can do the job and get the cup back on these shores," he commented as he stepped off the green. We said in the team room to just remember what happened at Nairn in '99 and the Belfry in the Ryder Cup in 2002. If you can get some good points on the board early it feeds through the team. I'm happy that I managed that today."
Close behind came Rhys Davies, recovering from one down after eight and taking control of his match with Rickie Fowler with a string of three birdies from the 11th to go three up. He matched Fowler's birdie at the 16th for a 3 and 2 result.
Next up was Lloyd Saltman, one up after an eagle at the first and never behind throughout his match with Trip Kuehne. He won the 16th with a birdie and secured a half in four at the next to win by 2 and 1.
"We knew it was crucial after the foursomes," he said. "The team has played really hard and I just wanted to get out and do my bit for them."
Daniel Willett, who has played some of the best golf over the two days, came back from a one-hole deficit to Colt Knost and was two up with seven to play. But the winner of this year's US Amateur and Public Links Championships is a hard man to beat and he holed a succession of vital short-range putts to claw back to all square.
America's only outright victory so far came from Jamie Lovemark who had four birdies in his 4 and 3 win over Jamie Moul.
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