A detailed look at how Friday afternoon's fourballs matches unfolded at the Ryder Cup.
Watson and Simpson bt Lawrie and Hanson 5&4
The American pair had not featured in the morning session despite both having won major titles in 2012 - Watson claiming the US Masters and Simpson the US Open - but they had won three of their four matches at the Presidents Cup last year and got off to a blistering start after Watson encouraged the crowd to cheer even while he hit his opening shot. "I told the European team if I'm going to play bad I'm going to at least have fun on the first tee shot,'' the left-hander explained.
After Simpson birdied the first, a par was good enough to win the second and Watson birdied the third, although Hanson did likewise to stay two down. Simpson then birdied the fourth and fifth and Lawrie's first birdie of the day on the fifth was again only enough to prevent further damage. However, there was
nothing the European pair could do when Watson rolled in a hat-trick of birdies from the sixth to move six ahead after eight holes and seven under par.
That had journalists scanning the history books for details of record defeats - 7&5 is the record loss in fourballs - but Hanson matched Simpson's birdie on the 10th and Lawrie won the 11th with a birdie to get back to five down. The Scot, making his first appearance in the contest since 1999, also followed Simpson in for another birdie on the 12th, but the belated resistance eventually came to an end on the par-five 14th.
Watson found the green in two to set up a straightforward birdie and although Hanson and Lawrie were not guaranteed to match it, they were conceded a birdie as the American pair finished 10 under par and 5&4 winners.
Mickelson and Bradley bt McIlroy and McDowell 2&1
Bradley had been highly impressive in partnering Mickelson to a 4&3 foursomes win over Garcia and Donald, ending the European pair's unbeaten record in the format, so it was no surprise to see them back out in the same slot in fourballs. McIlroy and McDowell had also won in foursomes, but only on the 18th green after almost squandering a three-hole lead with six to play.
The American pair made a flying start with three straight birdies to go three up and, after losing the next to par, also birdied the seventh and eighth to move four ahead. McIlroy and McDowell were just two under on the front nine but at least won the ninth with a birdie to be three down at the turn.
That was how it stayed until McIlroy conjured a perfect chip from the back of the 14th green for a tap-in birdie to close the gap, but the world number one's birdie on the 15th was matched by Bradley and Mickelson closed the door in style.
McIlroy had hit an excellent tee shot on the 17th to around 15ft, but Mickelson hit his to inside three feet - "That baby was all over the flagstick,'' he said - and was not asked to hole it as he and Bradley enjoyed their second win of the day.
D Johnson and Kuchar bt Rose and Kaymer 3&2
For once it was the European pair who made the best start as Rose - who had combined with Ian Poulter for a foursomes win against Woods and Stricker - birdied the first, but it was one-way traffic from then on. Johnson birdied the second to get back to all square and Kuchar then took over with four birdies in a row from the fourth.
Rose was only able to match one of those, on the sixth, and with Kaymer failing to contribute any birdies, they found themselves three down at the turn and in need of some inspiration to turn the match around. Rose did his best with a long-range birdie on the 12th but despite an excellent tee shot on the 13th, Kaymer never looked like converting the birdie attempt.
Rose was again the man to make birdie on the 14th to match that of Johnson - whose nonchalant style met with approval by his watching captain - but the Englishman finally felt the pressure on the 15th and missed from seven feet before Johnson holed to go three up with three to play. The 16th was halved in par and the American pair claimed a deserved win.
Woods and Stricker lost to Westwood and Colsaerts 1 hole
Woods and Stricker had suffered their third straight defeat in team play together in the foursomes, but captain Davis Love pinned his hopes on a change of format and kept faith with the experienced pair. Westwood had struggled on the greens in his morning defeat alongside Molinari but was put out to guide rookie Colsaerts, who was one of Olazabal's two wild cards.
Colsaerts certainly did not play like a rookie as he birdied three of the first five holes and narrowly missed birdie putts on the other two - including a complete horseshoe on the third. That was only good enough to be all square however as Woods birdied the first and fifth and Stricker made two on the second, but Colsaerts promptly birdied the seventh and ninth as well to put Europe one up at the turn.
That became two up on the next as an inspired Colsaerts rifled a long-iron approach to five feet for an eagle three - the first of the event - but Woods hit back with a long-range birdie on the next. Westwood could simply not buy a putt and missed from 10ft for the win on the 12th, only for Colsaerts to hammer in another birdie on the 13th to restore a two-hole lead. Woods responded again on the 14th but Colsaerts was simply sensational and - after Westwood had driven into the water on 15 for the second time - rolled in his seventh birdie to double the lead.
Westwood and Stricker could have just walked off and left their partners to it by now, Woods holing from 25ft to win the 16th and then putting his tee shot on the 17th to four feet. However, Colsaerts could not do a thing wrong and holed from 22ft for a birdie two to leave Woods to hole to keep the match alive. Woods gave himself a chance to snatch a half on the 18th but narrowly missed from 15ft and Europe claimed a vital point with Colsaerts carding eight birdies and an eagle.
Session score: USA 3 Europe 1
Overall match score: USA 5 Europe 3