Padraig Harrington won his first Ryder Cup match since the singles in 2004 today as the rain-delayed Ryder Cup continued at Celtic Manor.
Defeat in the morning fourballs with Luke Donald meant Harrington had gone 10 games without a victory, but the three-time major winner finally ended that sequence by combining with Ross Fisher to beat Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson 3&2.
It was not all good news for Europe however, with Edoardo and Francesco Molinari losing on the 18th green moments earlier to Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan, Johnson having cruelly birdied the 17th after the Italian brothers had won the previous hole to get back to all square.
Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods then made it two wins out of two this week – and six in a row including last year’s Presidents Cup – by beating Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez 4&3.
And Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk then snatched a half from their match with Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer with a birdie on the 18th after trailing all the way since the second hole.
“We managed to get back into the match and they made a great birdie on 17 and it’s really disappointing when it’s so close,” Francesco said. “It’s hard to go away with half a point.”
The United States therefore held a 5-3 lead with two of the six foursomes matches still out on the course.
Rookies Jeff Overton and Bubba Watson, winners over Harrington and Luke Donald this morning, were level with Donald and Ian Poulter with three to play, while the bottom match between Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy and Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar was also level with four to go.