Rose and Stenson win record-breaking classic

Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:08am EDT
 
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By Mitch Phillips

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson reeled off a record 10 successive birdies to win a fourball encounter against Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar that will go down as one of the greatest games in the competition's 87-year history on Saturday.

The European duo, who were impressive in winning both their matches on Friday, reached a whole new level in perfect conditions on Saturday to win 3 & 2 on the 16th with another record 12-under par score.

What made the game so memorable is that the Americans played almost as well, as they were two-up after six, level after 11 and played their part in a match total of 21 birdies, another Ryder Cup best.

"From start to finish we played well and they played well but it's unheard of to finish with 10 birdies in a row," said Rose, who sunk a series of improbable putts to take his overall Ryder Cup record to an impressive nine wins and three defeats.

"I was forcing myself to stay in the zone, it's so hard to come by when it gets like that and you just don't want to burst your bubble."

It was red on the board to start though as Watson and Kuchar, both beaten with other partners in their solitary Friday appearances, were transformed and set the pace, and the tone of the day, when Kuchar birdied the first with a 10ft putt.

With the wind less blustery than on Friday and the players more used to the greens, the crowd were treated to the quality of golf that had hoped for but when Kuchar nailed another long putt to put the visitors two up after six they were getting worried.

Little did they know that the home duo would birdie the next 10 holes in a row.   Continued...

 
European Ryder Cup player Justin Rose (L) and  Henrik Stenson celebrate on the 11th green during their fourballs 40th Ryder Cup match at Gleneagles in Scotland September 27, 2014.     REUTERS/Russell Cheyne