Americans hoping for last-gasp heroics

JUST AS after two days at Brookline a fortnight ago, America's golfers appear to have little chance of winning the Alfred Dunhill Cup. Once again they need an unlikely set of results to go their way but this time the heroics are required just to be allowed to tee it up on Sunday, when the semi-finals and final are contested.

JUST AS after two days at Brookline a fortnight ago, America's golfers appear to have little chance of winning the Alfred Dunhill Cup. Once again they need an unlikely set of results to go their way but this time the heroics are required just to be allowed to tee it up on Sunday, when the semi-finals and final are contested.

Although all four teams in Group One have a win apiece and the opportunity to top the table, their chances of progressing are not all equal. America must beat Sweden 3-0 today and hope New Zealand win against Italy, but only by a 2-1 margin. Any other combination of results will see Mark O'Meara, Payne Stewart and Tom Lehman get the day off tomorrow.

The No 1 seeds find themselves in this predicament after being whitewashed by Italy on the second day of round-robin matches on the Old Course. Meanwhile, the Kiwis responded to their defeat by the Americans on Thursday by defeating Sweden 2-1.

The United States team have two players from the world's top 10, while Lehman is at No 23. Italy have two players outside the world top 200 and Costantino Rocca, who never contended for a place at Brookline after playing in the three previous Ryder Cups, at No 121. Rocca's season was marred by an injury last Christmas when he sliced off a portion of his thumb while trying to open a bottle of red wine.

The Italian captain led by example to beat O'Meara in the top match by two strokes, although the American scored a birdie at the 17th to close the gap to one playing the last.

Lehman also found himself one behind playing the last and when Emanuele Canonica safely made his par, Lehman picked up his marker, failing to realise he had to hole out under the medal-matchplay format where aggregate scores may still come into play this afternoon. Lehman, who was given a one-shot penalty, said: "I wasn't thinking. I'm breaking all the rules this week."

Massimo Scarpa, whose birdie at the last beat Stewart by a stroke, said: "To beat the United States is a great day for us. Last night this was a dream for us, now it is reality. Costantino said we could win."

After losing to Japan yesterday, Scotland have to beat Australia today and then await the result of Paraguay and Japan. The Open champion Paul Lawrie was involved in the best finish of the day, losing to Katsuyoshi Tomori at the 19th. Lawrie led by a stroke but took a double-bogey six at the 17th.

Lawrie responded by holing his pitch from 77 yards with a mid-wedge at the last for an eagle-two, just as Craig Parry had done to condemn Japan to defeat the previous day. But Tomori almost followed Lawrie in, claimed his birdie and then hit his approach to three feet at the first, where Lawrie three-putted. "He is a hell of player and hit a class shot at the play-off hole," Lawrie said.

In Groups Three and Four simplicity prevails, where the decisive games are England against South Africa and Ireland versus Spain. The South Africans were all under 70 to dismiss the Indians while Lee Westwood, trying to shrug off a heavy cold, beat Zhang Lian-Wei of China 69-72.

It was probably less than diplomatic, however, for Westwood and Mark James, now positively giddy with irreverence without the cares of the Ryder Cup captaincy, to cast aspersions about the Old Course. "I don't have any particular affection for the turf, in a sacred sense," James said. "I played here in the Walker Cup and thought there were 15 blind holes and wasn't keen on the other three. Every round is the same here, I make two birdies and two bogeys."

Said Westwood: "For history and tradition there is nowhere like it in the world but I don't think it's the fairest course. It wouldn't be in my top 200." "In the east of Scotland?" James chipped in. "In Fife," Westwood rejoined.

But Sergio Garcia, who beat Nick Price by three strokes after a 67, is enthralled on his first visit. "I also had the same as yesterday, six birdies and one bogey, so maybe Mark is right," the 19-year-old said.

DUNHILL CUP RESULTS AND TABLES

GROUP ONEUnited States 0 Italy 3 (US names first): M O'Meara 72 lost to C Rocca 70; T Lehman 74 lost to E Canonica 72; P Stewart 72 lost to M Scarpa 71.Sweden 1 New Zealand 2 (Swe names first): G Hjertstedt 72 lost to M Campbell 71, P Sjoland 74 lost to M Long 73, J Sandelin 69 bt G Turner 70P W L Games Shots PtsWonSweden 2 1 1 4 426 1NZ 2 1 1 3 434 1Italy 2 1 1 3 443 1US 2 1 1 2 438 1

GROUP TWOAustralia 1 Paraguay 2 (Aus names first): P O'Malley 73 bt R Fretes 76; S Leaney 74 lost to A Franco 73; C Parry 70 lost to C Franco 70 at 20th.Scotland 1 Japan 2 (Sco names first): S Torrance 76 lost to I Aoki 71; P Lawrie 71 lost to K Tomori 71 at 19th; G Orr 69 bt T Yoneyama 71.P W L Games Shots PtsWonJapan 2 1 1 3 425 1Australia 2 1 1 3 429 1Paraguay 2 1 1 3 434 1Scotland 2 1 1 3 435 1

GROUP THREESouth Africa 3 India 0 (SA names first): E Els 69 bt J Singh 72; R Goosen 67 bt V Kumar 75; D Frost 68 bt J Randhawa 74.England 2 China 1 (Eng names first): L Westwood 69 bt Zhang Lian-wei 72; D Howell 75 lost to Cheng Jun 70; M James 72 bt Wu Xiang-bing 74P W L Games Shots PtsWonS Africa 2 2 0 5 418 2England 2 2 0 4 432 2China 2 0 2 2 434 0India 2 0 2 1 436 0

GROUP FOURSpain 2 Zimbabwe 1 (Sp names first): S Garcia 67 bt N Price 70; JM Olazabal 67 bt T Johnstone 73; MA Jimenez 73 lost to M McNulty 68.Ireland 2 France 1 (Irl names first): D Clarke 67 bt M Farry 75; P McGinley 74 lost to J Van de Velde 70; P Harrington 73 bt JF Remesy 74P W L Games Shots PtsWonIreland 2 2 0 5 424 2Spain 2 2 0 4 421 2France 2 0 2 2 431 0Zim 2 0 2 1 432 0

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London