AFTER A MORNING FOURBALL SESSION during which the United States slipped ahead thanks to some late heroics, Europe came back with a vengeance in the afternoon to take the overall lead at the end of Day 1 of the Ryder Cup.
It's Europe 5, United States 3. The Americans have their work cut out for them, needing 11 1/2 points to win the Cup. Europe needs 9 points to retain a Ryder Cup trophy they've held for most of the last two decades.
Led by Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson who won both their Friday matches, Europe nearly shut out the United States in foursomes, taking 3 1/2 of the 4 points.
European captain Paul McGinley said: "We've seen in the Ryder Cups over the years how important momentum switches are and how it can really have a domino effect. So when the surge came from America at the end of the session this morning, for our guys to react as well as they did in all four matches, shows real strength of character."
U.S. captain Tom Watson said his team was disappointed about the afternoon matches but went on to express faith in his twelve men.
"These guys are all great players," Watson said. "They can get it done."
That effort will begin early Saturday morning at Gleneagles.
Saturday Morning Fourballs
2:35 AM ET, Match 1: Watson/Kuchar (USA) vs. Rose/Stenson (EUR)
2:50 AM ET, Match 2: Furyk/Mahan (USA) vs. Donaldson/Westwood (EUR)
3:05 AM ET, Match 3: Reed/Spieth (USA) vs. Bjorn/Kaymer (EUR)
3:20 AM ET, Match 4: Walker/Fowler (USA) vs. McIlroy/Poulter (EUR)