American jimmy walker and Rickie Fowler were two up on Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia after 12 holes in the third foursomes match of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
McIlroy, coming off British Open and PGA Championship triumphs, and third-ranked Spaniard Garcia took the lead by winning the third hole with a par, but Garcia’s tee shot went out of bounds left at the fifth and the Americans squared the match.
Garcia answered with a long birdie putt to win the par-3 sixth but a bogey at seven squared the match again and both teams birdied the eighth and parred the ninth and tenth. The Americans then won the 11th and 12th to open up a two-hole lead.
Meanwhile, Rookie Victor Dubuisson and 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell were one-up up over Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley at the turn.
The 24-year-old from Cannes is just the third Frenchman to play the Ryder Cup after Jean Van de Velde and Thomas Levet and he is the youngest member of the European team.
And it was the underdog European pair who birdied the second to move ahead and bogeys from their rival duo at the fourth and fifth opened up a three hole gap.
A three-putt from McDowell and Dubuisson cast a lifeline to the Americans at the eighth and when Dubuisson failed to hole a nine-footer for birdie at the next, the match went round the turn with the European team just one ahead.
Elsewhere, Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood were one up on Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar through 16 holes while Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson were all square with Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson through 13.
The US led 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 after this morning’s fourballs as they try to reach 14 1/2 points to reclaim the Cup. Europe need 14 points to keep the trophy.