Guardian at Gleneagles: Westwood and Donaldson make their point

Worksop Guadian Sport logo, Golf
Worksop Guadian Sport logo, Golf
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Lee Westwood and Ryder Cup rookie Jamie Donaldson put in assured performances as they beat Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar by two holes in the foursomes.

It was an important point for the European team, and brought the competition level at 2½-2½, before Paul McGinley’s team went on to take a 5-3 lead.

The Worksop man and his playing partner had to come from behind to win, a bogey at the third costing them.

But a birdie at the par three sixth courtesy of a fine Donaldson tee shot and a solid Westwood putt levelled the match.

And they immediately hit the front, the Americans bogeying the seventh.

It got even better on 11 when Westwood’s birdie putt found the hole to put the Europeans two up.

Furyk and Kuchar refused to go quietly however, a birdie at 16 putting the pressure on their hosts.

Tension grew when both pairs parred the par three 17th, Europe guaranteed at least a half.

On the 18th it was Kuchar who blinked first, his error as he attempted to chip onto the green making it relatively comfortable for Donaldson.

The Welshman’s excellent putt from off the green was close enough to see the Americans doff their caps and accept a two hole defeat and hand Westwood his 22nd Ryder Cup point – just half a point shy of Seve Ballesteros’ total for Europe.

Massive crowds followed Westwood and Donaldson all afternoon, and the vast majority stayed out on the course, as did the golfers, to offer support to the three other European pairings.

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson added their second point of the day soon after, beating Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson 2&1.

A thrilling finish to the match between Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker saw Europe pick up a half.

McIlroy and Garcia birdied the last three holes in spectacular fashion to come back from two holes down.

The final match of the afternoon went the way of French rookie Victor Dubuisson and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, who beat Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley 3&2.