Europe leads at the Ryder Cup and hands Woods his worst loss ever in team competition

By Paul Newberry, AP
Sunday, October 3, 2010

Big defeat for Woods, Euros lead at Ryder Cup

NEWPORT, Wales — Europe has nearly pulled off a clean sweep at the Ryder Cup, surging into the lead by claiming all but a half-point in the last session of team matches.

The Americans face a daunting 9½-6½ gap after their dismal performance Sunday at soggy Celtic Manor. Tiger Woods took the biggest loss of his Ryder Cup career, Phil Mickelson became the losingest U.S. player ever, and the Europeans won five points and halved the other match.

Even the closest thing to a U.S. win felt like a loss. Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar went to the 18th hole 1 up, but Francesco Molinari, paired with his brother Edoardo, hit a brilliant wedge to 3 feet and rolled in the birdie putt to win the hole, leaving the match all square.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

NEWPORT, Wales (AP) — Europe is assured of having the lead going to the final day of an extended Ryder Cup.

Tiger Woods took the biggest match-play loss of his career Sunday, while Phil Mickelson became the losingest U.S. player in Ryder Cup history. It all adds up to the Americans facing a lot of work in the singles matches if they want to keep the trophy they won two years ago.

Mickelson lost his third match at Celtic Manor and 17th of his Cup career when he and Rickie Fowler lost 2 and 1 to Ian Poulter and Martin Kaymer. Woods and Steve Stricker were routed by Lee Westwood and Luke Donald 6 and 5.

Europe won the five matches to finish Sunday for a 9-6 lead. The Americans were assured of a half-point from Matt Kuchar and Stewart Cink.

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