The Latest: Clarke hopes Europe's front-loaded roster works

BY foxsports • October 2, 2016

CHASKA, Minn. (AP) The Latest on the Ryder Cup (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

The first six pairings are through the front nine and Europe is clinging to hope that captain Darren Clarke's strategy will start to pay dividends.

Clarke front-loaded his team for singles play on Sunday, hoping that some strong play early would rattle the Americans and embolden the younger charges set to tee off for Europe later in the day.

Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Thomas Pieters and Justin Rose led off for the Europeans, with Spaniards Rafa Cabrera Bello and Sergio Garcia rounding out the top six. The Europeans started the day trailing by three points, with the United States needing only five to clinch its first cup since 2008.

So far, the U.S. leads in two of the first six pairings, but it is up in four of the final six. That means Clarke needs strong finishes from McIlroy and his top guns to give Europe a chance at the comeback.


1:20 p.m.

The golfers on both sides have brought their A games to the final day of the Ryder Cup.

The Americans and Europeans are raining birdies all over Hazeltine, a remarkable level of golf being played under perfect weather conditions.

There were 46 birdies and one eagle through the first 118 holes played on Sunday. That's a birdie rate of 39 percent. Among the highlights is a run of four straight birdies from American Phil Mickelson.

With all 12 matches now in play, the Europeans lead in six and the Americans are up in two, with four all square.


12:39 p.m.

European captain Darren Clarke called the leadoff matchup in singles on Sunday between Rory McIlroy and American Patrick Reed ''mouth-watering.'' It's been all that and more through eight holes.

The two fiery competitors have traded jacked-up celebrations on the front nine, whipping themselves and the crowd into a frenzy.

McIlroy took a 1-up lead after four, pumping his fists and staring down the gallery with each big shot. He also shushed the crowd after a birdie putt on No. 7. When he rolled a long birdie putt into the hole on No. 8, he yelled to the gallery ''I can't hear you!''

Reed has been every bit as demonstrative. He rolled a 20-footer in to match McIlroy's birdie on No. 8 and waved his finger right in McIlroy's face.

Earlier, after McIlroy rolled in a birdie putt on No. 6, Reed responded with one of his own, taking a bow as the ball dropped into the hole.

It was a sarcastic bite at McIlroy, who bowed after a match-winning eagle putt on Friday evening.



American captain Davis Love III says he and his vice captains will be vigilant in identifying unruly fans in the galleries at the Ryder Cup.

Love says they will be watching and listening for heckling that goes out of bounds and will not hesitate to help security officials throw fans out.

Love says 97 percent of the fans at Hazeltine have been great, ''but it's the 3 percent we're hearing out there.'' Love says he has even dispatched his son on a cart to monitor the situation over the last two days, particularly during Rory McIlroy's rounds.

Love says his son identified several fans that crossed the line on Saturday and had security officials eject them from the course.

''He's a Rory fan and he was throwing people out that were ugly to Rory,'' Love said in a television interview.


11:40 a.m.

Henrik Stenson's opening tee shot in his match against Jordan Spieth wound up behind a stand of port-a-potties on the left side of the first fairway.

Undaunted, the Swede took a free drop two club-lengths to his right, because the stand is considered an immovable obstruction not normally part of the course, then knocked his approach on the green.

The recovery, though, did him little good, since Spieth chipped in from the fringe just behind the flag to take a 1-up lead.


11:05 a.m.

Hearing chants of ''Welcome Rory! Welcome Rory!'' European star Rory McIlroy got the final day of the Ryder Cup off to a raucous start when he teed off on No. 1.

McIlroy teed off first in a highly anticipated showdown with Patrick Reed to begin the singles matches. McIlroy and Reed have been the two best performers for the two sides all weekend. And both have fed off the rowdy Hazeltine crowd.

McIlroy found the fairway on No. 1 while Reed's tee shot went left into the rough.


10:30 a.m.

The PGA of America is pleading with the raucous, rowdy crowd at Hazeltine National Golf Club to be respectful of all participants heading into the final day of the Ryder Cup.

The PGA issued a statement Sunday saying security staff will remove any fans that ''are disruptive in any way, including the use of vulgar or profane language directed at the players.''

Galleries of more than 50,000 have packed the golf course over the first two days of the event and have made their voices heard as they back the Americans in the biennial event.

Europe's Rory McIlroy has been at the center of much of the heckling, and has responded forcefully after making big shots.

The Americans lead the Europeans 9+ to 6+ heading into singles play, needing five points in the 12 matches to win for the first time since 2008.

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