Golf-'Miracle at Medinah' will be on Europe's minds, says captain Harrington

Golf - The 2020 Ryder Cup - Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S. - September 24, 2021 Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington looks on as Team USA's Justin Thomas hits his putt on the 18th green during the Four-balls REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(Reuters) - Memories of the "Miracle at Medinah" will drive Europe to put up a fight against the dominant United States on the final day of the Ryder Cup, captain Padraig Harrington said as his team faces an uphill task of retaining the trophy.

The United States enter Sunday's 12 singles matches with a commanding 11-5 lead, needing just 3-1/2 points in the final session to win back the title Europe took from them in Paris in 2018.

Europe need 9 points to retain the title at Wisconsin's Whistling Straits, half a point more than they won in their storied comeback on the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois, where they bounced back from 10-6 down for a stunning comeback win.

"Six points is a tough one to make up tomorrow, but I think we were a half-point short of that in the Miracle at Medinah on Sunday, so we're just going to have to push for that tomorrow," Harrington said.

"There's no doubt that's going to be very strong on our minds."

The United States also pulled off a similar comeback title win in 1999, fighting from 10-6 down on the final day of the contest at Brookline.

"Even reversing it to Brookline. I know that was a four-point gap. These things can be done," Harrington added. "But again, it is more of an individual game tomorrow and getting them to focus on winning their point.

"I'm sure they know they have a very tall order ahead of them, but it's still possible. Focus on their individual self and play their game and win that and then just see how it adds up."

Only nine times in 42 Ryder Cups has a team come from behind on the final day to lift the trophy.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)

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