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USA need hot start to equal record comeback and keep Ryder Cup

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USA need hot start to equal record comeback and keep Ryder Cup
US golfers Tiger Woods (R) and Bryson Dechambeau during their foursomes match on the second day of the 42nd Ryder Cup on Saturday. PHOTO: FRANCK FIFE / AFP
02:33 CEST+02:00
United States captain Jim Furyk says his squad will need a fast start Sunday in order to match the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history and retain the trophy by capturing eight points from 12 singles matches.
The defending champion Americans dropped five of eight matches for a second consecutive day at Le Golf National, giving Europe a 10-6 lead entering the final 12 matches.
 
"We've been outplayed. I don't think there's a guy in my team room would argue with me. Right now, they have played better golf and we have to be able to do just that tomorrow," Furyk said.
 
"We have to go out there and start out hot, put a little pressure on them, and we have to be the better team tomorrow. There's no other bones about it. We're trying to make some magic tomorrow."
 
The US squad, trying to snap a 25-year European win drought, need 14 points to keep the Cup while Europe need 14 1/2 -- only four wins with one match halved -- to win for the ninth time in 12 attempts.
 
"Early wins tomorrow go a long way," said three-time major champion Jordan Spieth. "If they get a couple points on the board, we have to win something like eight out of the next 10. So we've got to get off to a good start. We know that. But even if we were leading, we would say the same."
 
The reeling Americans drew upon memories of their epic 1999 "Battle of Brookline" rally, when they trailed 10-6 but stunned Europe in the final singles session, and bitter flashbacks from the "Miracle at Medinah", when Europe overcame the same deficit entering Sunday to claim the trophy.
 
"I think it might be our turn to flip it around on them," world number one Dustin Johnson said.
 
Furyk's memories of Medinah and Brookline are clear. In 1999, he recalls captain Ben Crenshaw's fiery speech on Saturday night.
 
'Anything can happen'
 
"I remember every damn word of it. We had a talk about it," Furyk said. "It sure sucked being on the other side, I will say that. [Medinah] was one of the worst days of my career. I remember it probably even better. The feeling of the momentum switching... it's a tough feeling to stomach. I remember it very well. It's probably in my list of top three worst nightmares in golf. So I remember it very, very vividly and very clearly."
 
The Americans won the first six singles matches in 1999 while Europe took the first five at Medinah.
 
"Anything can happen," three-time major winner and world number three Brooks Koepka said. "If you go out and everybody does what they're supposed to do, they should essentially win the match.
 
"You just need to try to find some motivation, some momentum, anything you can to really build on it and go out and finish on a high note."
 
The Americans, the oddsmakers' favourites when the week began, boast 11 of the world's 17 top-ranked golfers, with nine major winners who have taken a combined 31 major crowns, 14 of them belonging to Tiger Woods.
 
"Our team can certainly pull it off in singles," 10th-ranked Spieth said. "It has been done before. We're two evenly matched teams and here on their soil with the fans they have an extra gear."
 
Or as two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson put it: "We better play good."
 
"We got a lot of work to do," echoed Watson's foursomes partner Webb Simpson. "But we still got a chance."
 
By AFP's Jim Slater
 
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