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

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
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

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little