MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 30: Luke Donald of Europe plays a bunker shot on the fifth hole during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 30, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) — Europe's comeback plan is on track, with Luke Donald winning the day's first match at the Ryder Cup.
The Europeans still trail 10-7 after Donald's 2-and-1 victory over Bubba Watson, with the Americans needing only 4½ points to regain the Ryder Cup. But the Americans lead just one of the other first six matches.
The biggest comeback in Ryder Cup history was by the Americans at Brookline in 1999. Trailing by the same deficit, the U.S. front-loaded its singles lineup and raced to a 6-0 lead. European captain Jose Maria Olazabal is using a similar strategy, and Donald didn't disappoint. He was in control the entire day; Watson didn't win a hole until the 15th.
Donald clinched the match with a gorgeous sand shot on 17, getting within a foot, and was rewarded with cheers of "Ole! Ole! Ole!"