A crucial one hole victory by rookies Paul Casey and David Howell helped Europe turn things round against a United States fightback and establish an 8-4 lead after the Saturday fourball session.
As expected the US Team came out all guns blazing and at one point they looked as if they could take a clean sweep of all fourball matches.
But Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia fought a titanic top match against Jay Haas and Chris DiMarco to secure a vital half, Westwood’s first half point in 18 Ryder Cup ties.
With Darren Clarke and Ian Poulter going down 4 and 3 to a revitalised Tiger Woods and Chris Riley and Colin Montgomerie and Padriag Harrington losing to Stewart Cink and David Love III 3 and 2, everything came down to the last match on the course.
Casey and Howell, getting their first taste of The Ryder Cup, were magnificent against the wily campaigner Jim Furyk and Chad Campbell. The first five holes were halved before Casey holed a series of sensational putts to open up a two hole lead after ten holes.
Furyk is one of the great match play golfers and he showed why with a burst of three birdies from the 11th to swing the pendulum back towards the US Team as they edged one up. Howell got the match back to all square with a superb birdie on the 16th but Campbell holed a huge putt on the 16th to edge ahead once again.
But the European rookies were not to be denied. A sensational tee shot on the tough 17th to five feet gave Howell and winning birdie to take the match down the final hole and, with the hole surrounded by 20,000 spectators, Casey stepped up to the plate and made a solid par which neither of the Americans could match.
The importance of that one hole victory for the European cause cannot be underestimated and they head into the afternoon foursomes with their tails up.