Heroic Howell and Casey

Surprise point jolts US as Europeans maintain four point Ryder Cup lead.

Heroic Howell and Casey

Bernhard Langer’s European team got out of jail to maintain a four point lead going into Saturday’s foursomes in the 35th Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills.

They lead 8-4, need only six more points to retain the trophy from four foursomes and 12 singles but the USA team, inspired by a rejuvenated Tiger Woods, will make them battle for every half point towards their target.

It showed on the face of the former World No.1 as he guided rookie Chris Riley to a convincing 4&3 win over Darren Clarke and Ian Poulter, making a nervous debut.

Said Woods: "The team got going today – we had no choice we had to make a positive move."

But, despite a more vibrant and volatile home crowd they didn’t quite get to pull back as they wanted – European rookie Paul Casey and David Howell saw to that.

After Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia had snatched a half with Chris Di Marco and veteran Jay Haas, Howell and Casey made a late surge to get an unexpected point.

They had led Jim Furyk and Chas Campbell early on but were pegged back and went behind to an outrageous birdie by Campbell at the 16th.

However, heroic Howell claimed his second birdie in three holes with a 10-footer at the 220-yard par-3 17th to square the match and Casey magnificently two-putted from 60 feet at the last to win the match.

Colin Montgomerie ended a string of great results when he and Padraig harrington lost 3&2 to Stewart Cink and Davis Love.

The foursomes line-up later today is as follows: Clarke & Westwood v Haas & Di Marco; Jimenez & Levet v Mickleson & toms; Garci & Donald v Furyk & Funk; Harrington & McGinley v Woods & Love.

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