Inspired by the possibility of its first Ryder Cup victory since 1957, Europe won in both sessions Saturday to take a 9-7 lead heading into today's final round of singles competition at Sutton Coldfield, England.
Europe won the morning four-ball matches, 2 1/2-1 1/2, to wipe out the Americans' overnight lead. The afternoon foursomes ended 3-1 in Europe's favor, even though American Captain Lee Trevino chose to use seven of the eight players who took the Friday foursomes by the same margin.
Jose Rivero marked his Ryder Cup debut by teaming with Jose-Maria Canizares and trouncing one of America's best foursome pairings, Tom Kite and Calvin Peete, 7 and 5.
The other Spanish pair, Seve Ballesteros and Manuel Pinero, beaten in their morning four-ball match by Mark O'Meara and Lanny Wadkins, returned with a 5-and-4 victory over Craig Stadler and Hal Sutton in the afternoon.
Stadler, teamed with Curtis Strange, missed a two-foot putt on the 18th hole to halve the morning four-ball match against Bernhard Langer of West Germany and Sandy Lyle of Scotland.
It was the first time since 1949 that the Europeans had taken a lead into the last day's play in these biennial matches that started in 1927. The United States holds a 21-3-1 lead in the series.
Jim Thorpe, who has never won on the PGA Tour, shot a tournament-record 10-under-par 62 to lead the $300,000 Greater Milwaukee Open by a stroke after three rounds.
Thorpe's total of 204 on the 7,010-yard Tuckaway Country Club course in Franklin, Wis., gave him a one-stroke lead over Jeff Sanders.
Sanders, who started the day tied for the lead with Jim Colbert, shot a 70. Colbert, who won the event in 1972, shot a 75 and dropped to 210.
Jack Nicklaus, who shot a 67, and Greg Twiggs and Larry Rinker, were all two shots back. Nicklaus double-bogeyed the 17th to miss sharing the lead. Twiggs shot a 70 and Rinker a 68.
Australia's Peter Thomson shot his second straight three-under-par 69 and opened a three-shot lead with a total of 138 after the second round of the $250,000 United Virginia Bank-PGA Seniors tournament at Richmond, Va.
But for bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes, the senior tour's 56-year-old leading money-winner would have had an even more commanding lead heading into today's final round of the 54-hole tournament over the 6,644-yard Hermitage Country Club course.
Left-hander George Lanning, whose best previous finish this season was a tie for sixth, shot a 70 and was at 141.
Chris Johnson shot a four-under-par 68 for a 210 total that gave her a one-stroke lead over JoAnne Carner and Jane Blalock in the rain-delayed third round of the $200,000 Safeco LPGA tournament at Kent, Wash.