Former European captain Paul McGinley believes the United States need to eclipse the ‘Miracle at Medinah” to retain the Ryder Cup in Rome.
Europe famously recovered from 10-6 down heading into the singles in 2012 to pull off an unlikely victory, but Zach Johnson’s side trailed by five points at Marco Simone despite a spirited fightback on Saturday afternoon.
“This will be unbelievable if America come anywhere close,” McGinley, who led Europe to victory at Gleneagles in 2014, told Sky Sports.
“Miracles do happen and this will be bigger than the Miracle at Medinah if America come back from here. Yes they have momentum, but Europe are also stoked up.”
That was a reference to the controversial end to Saturday’s play, with angry scenes on the 18th green later continuing outside the clubhouse at Marco Simone.
Rory McIlroy was annoyed that Patrick Cantlay’s caddie Joe LaCava initially refused to move from his eyeline as he waved his cap over his head in celebration of Cantlay’s birdie on the last.
McIlroy and team-mate Matt Fitzpatrick still had birdie putts of their own to halve the hole and the match, but neither was able to convert.
McIlroy was later pictured angrily gesturing towards LaCava before being shepherded into a courtesy car by Shane Lowry.
Europe captain Luke Donald vowed to give his players the right “messaging” before Sunday’s play and unsurprisingly sent out his strongest players early in the singles, with Jon Rahm first out against Scottie Scheffler.
McIlroy, who had gone out first in the last three Ryder Cups, was fourth in the line-up against Sam Burns.