Records fall in Ryder birdie blitz

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Europe led the United States by 6 1/2 points to 5 1/2 after both teams produced an extraordinary exhibition of shotmaking in a record-breaking morning fourballs session at the 40th Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, Scotland, yesterday.

Hunter Mahan, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed were the stars of the show as the Americans picked up two wins and a half.

However, the performance of the session came from Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. The two Europeans were a record 12-under-par for 16 holes as they dismissed Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar 3 & 2.

The American duo also lit up the Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course in a crackerjack tussle that featured a total of 21 birdies, another Ryder Cup record.

"It's hard to reflect on it when you're playing, but 21 birdies in 16 holes between us, that's something special," Swede Stenson said.

Europe started the day with a 5-3 lead after taking 3-1/2 points from Friday afternoon's foursomes.

After Rose and Stenson stretched the advantage to 6-3, the Americans surged back, and came close to leveling the score by the end of the morning.

Jim Furyk and Mahan beat Lee Westwood and Jamie Donaldson 4 & 3. Rookies Spieth and Reed — winning their second match in two days — took down Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer 5 & 3. Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker earned a half-point against Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter, bringing the US within a point going into the afternoon foursomes.

Europe has won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups, and the US hasn't won on foreign soil since 1993 in England.

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