SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Considering how the Unites States has played in the first two days of the Ryder Cup here at Le Golf National, it’s hard to picture the trophy coming back to America.
But when the impossible happens, we call that magic, and that’s exactly what Jim Furyk said his team needs Sunday trailing Europe 10-6 with 12 singles matches left for the taking.
Tiger ???? Rahm
Johnson ???? Poulter
Spieth ???? Olesen
Fowler ???? Garcia
Mickelson ???? Molinari
Reed ???? Hatton
Watson ???? Stenson
— Ryder Cup USA (@RyderCupUSA) September 29, 2018
“We have to win eight points tomorrow to take the Cup back home,” Furyk said after Saturday’s play. “We set up our lineup accordingly and put the guys out in the fashion that we felt like, you know, we’re trying to make some magic tomorrow.”
Furyk knows a little something about erasing a four-point deficit. He was a member of the U.S. team in 1999 when it stormed back from four down, and again in 2012 during the “Miracle in Medinah” when Europe rallied to win from four down with current captain Thomas Bjorn as a vice captain.
“It sure sucked being on the other (losing) side, I will say that,” said Furyk, who lost a key singles match to Sergio Garcia at Medinah. “That was one of the worst days of my career. I remember it probably even better (than Brookline), to be honest with you.
“The feeling of the momentum switching; the feeling of hearing the European crowd, and knowing, looking up on the board and seeing blue, it’s a tough feeling to stomach.”
That sick feeling is one Furyk wants his team to hand the Europeans on Sunday. He remembers every word of what 1999 U.S. captain Ben Crenshaw said to his team before their final-day rally. And with Crenshaw in town for this event, Furyk said the now-66-year-old Crenshaw is welcome to visit his team for a similar speech.
Regardless of what happens Saturday in the U.S. team room, what matters is how they play Sunday, and Furyk hopes Justin Thomas can set the tone in the opening match against Rory McIlroy — much like Luke Donald did for Europe in 2012.
“I know it puts a lot of pressure on the other team,” Furyk said. “We put out the guys — some guys early we thought could give us a spark.”
If you’re a fan of the U.S. team, you hope spark needs to ignite something greater and makes for a thrilling, historic finish.