Phil Mickelson added another little chapter to his big book of Ryder Cup woes today with his erratic tired looking display largely responsible for one of the biggest turnarounds in Ryder Cup history. Facing what looked like a weak pairing of Henrik Stenson who was poor yesterday and Ryder Cup Rookie Oliver Wilson in his first ever match, Mickelson and Kim were strong favourites to win easily. It seemed certain to be so as the American Pair raced to a four shot lead after seven holes, the rest of the match seemed like it was a mere formality, the occasion surely too much for Wilson. Mickelson and Kim either got a bit over-confident themselves or they hit the wall in terms of what they had to give, as they lost their game almost completely.
Mickelson began spraying drives around all over the shop, water was found and before anyone knew where they were the match was at the 12th tee and the match was all square. Oliver Wilson was clearly not the weak opponent they thought he might be, Stenson was warmed up by that stage and they were well ready to take advantage of each sloppy shot by the Americans.
Amazingly the match did finish before the 18th, but it was by virtue of a long nerveless putt from the excellent Wilson on 17 which calimed the most unlikely of 2&1 victories over the marquee American pairing. It was a huge blow for the European side and will be a huge lift for the team going into the fourballs.
Kenny Perry and Jim Furyk were too strong in the end for Harrington and Karlsson and lead the whole day to convert a 3&1 win. In the other match, Mahan and Leonard just edged in front at the seventeenth having had a real ding-dong battle with Jimenez and McDowell who'd been sneaking in frint for most of the day. They needed to win on the last to halve the match and after a 10 foot putt from Leonard, who had been so reliable up to that point, slipped past the hole, McDowell got his chance. A short three or four footer became a very tough shot under the circumstances but he drained it to cap another great performance for him and save a valuable half point for his side.
The match is now finely poised with the match now 7-5 to the US but with Europe seemingly in the ascendancy. It keeps getting better.