The stars of European golf -- Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle and Seve Ballesteros -- dominated their U.S. rivals again today and brought their team to the verge of capturing the Ryder Cup.
American players have never lost the cup on U.S. soil, but the European team opened a 10 1/2-5 1/2 lead yesterday in Dublin, Ohio, with 12 singles matches scheduled for Sunday. The European team needs to win four of those to retain the cup.
"We wanted to keep our momentum today," said Faldo, who teamed with Woosnam in the afternoon four-ball matches to birdie 10 of 14 holes and drub Tom Kite and Curtis Strange, 5 and 4.
"You are so excited and nervous every minute you are out there," Woosnam said. "You feel like you are playing for your life."
The Europeans began the day with a four-point lead and boosted that by one during the morning foursomes. Lyle and Langer teamed to down Lanny Wadkins and Larry Nelson in the morning, 2 and 1, and Ballesteros and Jose-Maria Olazabal outlasted Ben Crenshaw and Payne Stewart, 1-up.
Kite and Strange were the only American winners in the morning, beating Gordon Brand and Jose Rivero, 3 and 1. Faldo and Woosnam halved a match with Larry Mize and Hal Sutton.
The afternoon four-ball matches were split -- Woosnam and Faldo staging their one-sided romp over Kite and Strange, and Lyle and Langer beating Wadkins and Nelson again, 1-up.
The final match did not end until 7:30 p.m. EDT as the final hint of sunlight was fleeing from the Muirfield Village Golf Club. Langer hit his second shot at the final hole within a foot to halt a would-be comeback by Wadkins and Nelson.
Andy Bean and Stewart beat Eamonn Darcy and Gordon Brand in the afternoon, 3 and 2, and Sutton and Mize defeated Ballesteros and Olazabal, 2 and 1.
For the first two days, the team of Langer-Lyle has a 3-0 record while Woosnam-Faldo is 3-0-1 and Ballesteros-Olazabal is 3-1.
European heroics were to be found throughout the day, chiefly on the greens where Langer, Lyle, Faldo and Olazabal were sharp. Lyle made two eagles, hitting a 2-iron to within two feet at the par-5 11th in the morning match and making a 20-foot putt for a three at the par-5 15th in the afternoon.
In Abilene, Tex., David Edwards overcame clothing problems to post seven birdies in a 7-under-par 65 and charge into the lead from five strokes back entering the final round of the $400,000 Southwest Classic.
Edwards, at 14-under 202, held a one-stroke lead going into Sunday's final round over tour veteran Hale Irwin and first-day leader Bob Eastwood. Edwards played in plastic rain pants after abandoning his regular pants because of a zipper problem.
Edwards encountered no other problems in his round, although the wind was 15 mph with gusts to 26 on the par-72, 7,189-yard Fairway Oaks course. "The wind was there," Edwards said, "but I made good decisions today. When things are going well, you don't notice the wind as much."
Miller Barber shot a 2-under-par 70 to maintain his one-shot lead over Bruce Crampton after two rounds of the $200,000 Newport Cup seniors golf tournament.
Barber, 56, has a 36-hole total of 137 at Newport Country Club entering Sunday's final round on the 6,566-yard links course, site of the first U.S. national championship in 1895.
In San Jose, Juli Inkster sank five birdies, including three straight on the back nine, en route to a 5-under-par 67 and a one-stroke lead over Missie Berteotti after two rounds of the $300,000 San Jose Classic.
Inkster has a two-day total of 138. Berteotti, the first-round leader, shot a 71. Patty Sheehan, Amy Alcott, Jan Stephenson and Cindy Figg-Currier were all two shots back at 140.