Ryder Cup: Justin Rose comeback stuns fan-favourite Phil Mickelson at Medinah
Last Updated: 01/10/12 1:47am
Justin Rose sensationally birdied the last two holes to beat Phil Mickelson
Justin Rose won the final two holes to snatch a stunning victory over Phil Mickelson and ensure Europe won the opening five singles on a dramatic Ryder Cup Sunday.
The Englishman let slip an early two-hole lead and looked on course for defeat when Mickelson went one up with four to play, but he birdied each of the last two holes to stun the left-hander.
Rose got off to a flyer when he binned a 20-footer for a winning birdie at the first, and he also took the second when Mickelson blocked his tee shot into the water.
But Mickelson's par was enough to pull one back at the fourth, and the fan favourite birdied the fifth to draw level before Rose drilled his second to eight feet at the seventh and nailed the eagle putt.
The American responded with a two at the eighth, only for Rose to reclaim the lead by the turn with a sublime approach to gimme range at the ninth.
However, Rose could not save par from sand at 11, and an exquisite bunker escape from Mickelson at the 14th set up a winning birdie to give him the lead.
They halved the next two before Rose produced something special at 17, draining an incredible, big-breaking 50-foot putt from the back of the green to take them up 18 all square.
Mickelson was in better shape off the tee at the last, but he over-clubbed before Rose knocked another impressive iron hole high to 12 feet.
Mickelson's birdie chip left him with a good chance for par, but he never got the opportunity as Rose found the bottom of the cup to pull off a remarkable point for Europe.
"The Ryder Cup is as big as it gets, and to play Phil, he always seems to bring out the best in me," said Rose, who also beat Mickelson in the at Valhalla in 2008.
"I wouldn't say I've made three bigger putts back-to-back in my career ever."