If the U.S. can overcome a big deficit heading into the final day of the 2014 Ryder Cup, they’ll be making history. Down 10-6 after two days, the Americans would surmount a Sunday comeback only done twice in the Ryder Cup history since 1979.
In 1999 at Brookline Country Club, the Americans scored 8.5 points out of a possible 12 on the final day to defeat Mark James and the European side 14.5-13.5. The U.S. scored the first seven points on the day, going from a 10-6 deficit to a 13-10 lead. It was then Justin Leonard’s miracle putt on the 17th hole that led a raucous celebration before Jose Maria Olazabal missed a critical tying putt. That match was ultimately halved, completing the comeback.
Just two years ago at Medinah Country Club, the Europeans found themselves in the same 10-6 hole the Americans did at Brookline. On that Sunday, the Europeans got off to a similar start as the U.S. did in ’99, winning five of the first six matches. However, the 2012 comeback for Europe was as much about the Americans giving up the lead as Europe getting it, including critical misses from Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods on the 18th hole of their matches that gave Europe additional points to pull off the win.
Can the U.S. win 8.5 points again today? This kind of comeback has never happened on European soil. However, the U.S. managed to overcome a one-point deficit on Sunday to win the 1993 Ryder Cup, the last time the U.S. has won on the road.