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Europe will need 'beyond monumental effort' to retain Ryder Cup - Ian Poulter

Team Europe's Shane Lowry celebrates on the 18th hole after HE makes a putt and winning their four-ball match the Ryder Cup at the Whistling Straits Golf Course on Saturday. Lowry's form was one of few bright spots on another challenging day for Europe as the USA took a commanding 11-5 lead into Sunday's singles Picture: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
BY CARL MARKHAM

EUROPE'S talisman at the Miracle of Medinah Ian Poulter admits they will need a "beyond monumental effort" to retain the Ryder Cup as they trail the United States 11-5 heading into the final day.

In 2012 Jose-Maria Olazabal's team were down 10-6 before players like Poulter sparked one of the most remarkable comebacks in golf that saw them prevail 14.5 to 13.5.

America's six-point lead is the biggest entering the singles since 1979 and no team has overhauled such a deficit.

On the evidence of the first two days the likelihood of Europe staging a comeback at Whistling Straits is remote at best.

"We're not in a good position and it's going to take a beyond monumental effort. So we need a couple of miracles," said Poulter.

All 12 players on the US team have won a point this week. By contrast Europe's senior players have fallen short with Poulter, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Paul Casey all so far failing to contribute, with Matt Fitzpatrick and rookie Bernd Wiesberger also drawing a blank.

McIlroy's performance, in particular, has been woeful but the Holywood man pledged to come out fighting on today.

"It's disappointing not to contribute a point for the team yet," he said.

"Hopefully (I can) just go out tomorrow and try my best to get a point and hopefully we can rally and at last give them something to maybe sweat about in the middle of the afternoon."

Sergio Garcia, whose partnership with fellow Spaniard Jon Rahm has been a rare highlight, sprang to the defence of McIlroy.

"I told him the absolute truth. I told him that not only me but the whole team is proud of him no matter if he goes 5-0 or 0-5," he said.

"We love him and we are always proud of the effort he makes and the heart that he puts into his golf and into the team. It's as simple as that.

"Obviously it's not the week he was hoping for, without a doubt, not the week we were hoping for, for all of us, at least until now.

"But we are still very proud of every single one of our team-mates."

Even the biggest optimist would rank victory for Europe as improbable, especially with a pumped-up partisan home crowd whose behaviour at times has overstepped the mark.

"I think they have been calling out some of the guys that have been chanting some interesting words, should we say," said Tyrrell Hatton.

"It's just unfortunate that a few of them do silly things like opening cans at the top of your backswing. It's a little bit unnecessary. Obviously you want to play a fair game.

"We get the support when we are at home so we expected a hostile atmosphere and that's what we've got so far this week.

"The majority of the fans have been great, to be fair."

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