Golf-Europe face 'really tall task' versus United States in Ryder Cup finale

FILE PHOTO: Team Europe's Jon Rahm waits to play on the 17th hole during the afternoon play at the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S. September 25, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

KOHLER, Wisconsin (Reuters) - The United States take a commanding lead into the final day of the Ryder Cup on Sunday versus a European contingent that will need to mount an historic comeback at Whistling Straits if they are to successfully defend their title.

U.S. captain Steve Stricker's team raced out to an 11-5 lead after the first two days of competition and need just 3-1/2 more points from the 12 singles matches to reclaim the Ryder Cup.

No Ryder Cup team has ever rallied from six points down going into Sunday's singles.

"They have to just go out there and win their own individual match. There's nothing more they can do than that," said Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington.

"They have to focus on that and not look at that bigger picture and focus on their individual self and play their game and win that and then just see how it adds up."

Ryder Cup rookie Xander Schauffele, who has won each of the three matches he has played in this week, will go out first for the Americans against Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who has failed to register a point in his three starts.

World number one Jon Rahm will be the second man sent out for Europe as the Spaniard, who has won his three matches at Whistling Straits, faces Patrick Cantlay.

American Cantlay has enjoyed an impressive Ryder Cup debut as he has gone 2-0-1 while showcasing the form that helped him earn PGA Tour Player of the Year honors two weeks ago.

"We've got 12 hungry guys to get this thing done," said American Tony Finau, who will face Ian Poulter in the day's eighth match. "They have a really tall task in front of them, a score that's never been overcome."

(Reporting by Steve Keating; Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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