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U.S. pulls even with Europe in Ryder Cup

Sunday, September 29, 2002

SUTTON COLDFIELD, England -- Tiger Woods teamed with Davis Love III for two victories Saturday, helping the United States pull into a tie with Europe after the second day of the Ryder Cup at The Belfry.

The Europeans started the day with a 4 1/2-3 1/2 lead.

After the teams split the morning's four alternate-shot matches, the Americans won two and halved one of the afternoon best-ball matches to draw even at 8-8.

The United States will be favored going into today's 12 singles, with Woods to play in the final match.

It's the first time the teams have been tied after the first two days of team matches since the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island, S.C.

Since 1985, the Americans have won the Sunday singles six out of eight times.

The United States needs 14 points to retain the Ryder Cup; Europe needs 14 1/2 to get it back.

"I think we're all pleased, not tickled to death or happy, but pleased that we're 8-8," U.S. captain Curtis Strange said.

"We're not behind," European captain Sam Torrance said. "We're tied going into the last day. That's always good in my book."

In the pairings today, the captains took opposite strategies, with Europe going with its top players at the start and the United States saving its best for last.

Europe has Colin Montgomerie up first against Scott Hoch, followed by Sergio Garcia against David Duval. In the last two matches, the United States has Phil Mickelson against Phillip Price, and Woods against Jesper Parnevik in the finale.

"If the Ryder Cup is on the line, for any team, he's the guy you want to have last," Strange said, referring to Woods. "He likes it. Any champion, any superstar likes that situation. Any superstar likes to take the last shot."

Torrance said he front-loaded his lineup to get the early momentum Sunday.

"It's really important to get ahead early and surge to the finish," he said. "That was always one of my master plans."

As for Woods, Torrance said, "He's tremendous. They've got one Tiger. I've got 12 lions."

Woods lost twice Friday, dropping his career Ryder Cup record to a miserable 3-8-1, but a day later, things were much different.

He and Love beat Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn 4 and 3 in the morning, and overtook Garcia and Westwood at the 18th hole for a 1-up win in the afternoon.

"Davis and I are good buddies, and it's nice to go out with a buddy," Woods said. "We played well. We gelled well together. It was a lot of fun competing at this level."

In the second match, Woods had seven birdies, as well as two putts of less than 7 feet, which he didn't have to take.

Roberts takes 1-stroke lead in PGA Texas Open

SAN ANTONIO -- Loren Roberts birdied the last two holes Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over four players into the final round of the Texas Open.

The 47-year-old Roberts, tied for the lead with Pat Perez after two rounds, shot a 3-under 67 to reach 13-under 197 on the LaCantera Golf Club course.

Bob Tway (67), Frank Lickliter (65), Garrett Willis (66) and Matt Peterson (67) were a stroke back.

-- From wire reports

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