USA pull clear of Europe
The USA went from strength to strength on day two of the Ryder Cup as Europe battled to stay in the contest at Medinah on Saturday.
Europe are expected to be in the blue of the late Seve Ballesteros for the Sunday singles in Chicago - but they need the giant scoreboards to change colour as well if they are to retain the Ryder Cup.
Even without a contribution yet from Tiger Woods, on course to become the joint holder of the record for most defeats by an American in the event's history, the red denoting Davis Love's side has dominated the first two days.
Already 5-3 up overnight, that became 8-4 in the morning foursomes as Woods sat out his first session in either the Ryder or President's Cup.
That followed two first-day defeats and a third was on the cards as he and Steve Stricker trailed Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia by two after 12. It had been four after nine.
But it hardly seemed to matter for America's hopes - and going back to the very first match in 1927 they have never lost more than a two-point lead on the final day.
Love even had the luxury of giving Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, winners of their first three games, a rest so they would be fresher for the concluding 12 games.
Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, respectively the Masters and US Open champions, hit back from losing to Justin Rose and Ian Poulter before lunch to hammer Rose and Francesco Molinari 5&4 and make it 9-4.
"On our own ball we got back into a rhythm," Watson said. Simpson certainly did - he had seven birdies in the game against his partner's two.
Nicolas Colsaerts and Paul Lawrie trailed Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar by one with five to go, while world number one Rory McIlroy - with only one win out of three so far - and Poulter were two down after 10 to Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson.
The sign in the sky earlier in the day said "Do It for Seve", but it was the home side - most notably Bradley and Mickelson - who set the tone.
Rose and Poulter, improving his phenomenal record in the event to 10 wins and only three losses, were the only pre-lunch European winners.
They beat Watson and Simpson on the last in a game which began dramatically, with both Poulter and Watson encouraging the crowd to make whatever noise they liked as they teed off.
For pure theatre golf has never seen anything like this new trend, started by the eccentric Watson when he entered the fray on Friday afternoon.
But as they slugged it out over 18 holes Mickelson and Bradley needed only 12 to thrash Chicago resident Donald and Lee Westwood and register a third straight win together.
Their 7&6 drubbing of the world numbers three and four equalled the competition's record winning margin for either fourballs or foursomes.
Then, after Poulter and Rose had done their stuff, Belgian Colsaerts discovered that 18 hours in the Ryder Cup is a long time - time enough to go from ecstasy to agony.
The 29-year-old debutant notched eight birdies and an eagle as he gained the notable scalps of Woods and Stricker in his first game.
But on his return his tee shot into the water on the 17th, the hole where he had so dramatically matched Woods's birdie the previous evening, led to a 2&1 defeat for him and Garcia.
"It's pretty painful - very, very painful," Colsaerts said. "We got a decent chance to go to 18 and make something happen, but it's just one of those moments where you need a few Ryder Cups under your belt."
McIlroy and Graeme McDowell looked as if they might make up for that when they birdied the 16th to be only one down to Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker.
They were the two Americans they beat at the start of the match, but revenge was sweet as the home pair halved the final two holes for a one-up win.
A tired-looking McDowell, the 2010 match-winner at Celtic Manor, was then told he was watching the afternoon action, as was Westwood, while Peter Hanson and Martin Kaymer were rested all day.
Mickelson said: "The European side has had some great team-mates - Seve and Ollie (Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal) and some others - but to be able to share this experience with Keegan has been really awesome.
"We've had so much fun, the crowd has provided so much energy and it's brought our best golf out."
Bradley added: "I'm just thrilled I get to share this with Phil and play the way we did. And I got to witness on the good side one of those Phil pars on the last hole."
That was a reference to the 12th. Mickelson drove into the trees, forcing his partner to lay up, but then his approach landed on the ridge some 30 feet left of the hole and trickled down to within inches.
Westwood, off on a bad foot when he dumped his tee shot into the water on the second, and Donald had been on in two, but three-putted and so did not win a single hole in a contest they finished three over par against their opponent's six under.