Tony Finau warned Europe’s players they will be shown no mercy as the United States targeted a comprehensive Ryder Cup victory at Whistling Straits.
Steve Stricker’s side took an 11-5 lead into Sunday’s 12 singles matches and required just three and a half points to win the biennial contest for only the second time since 2008.
But Finau revealed he and his team-mates had no intention of settling for simply securing the win after previous US sides were beaten by record nine-point margins in 2004 and 2006.
“I don’t think it gets talked about enough in the Ryder Cup (but) sometimes your job, when you have a healthy lead like this, (is to) just wear out some of the great players,” said Finau, who was drawn to face European talisman Ian Poulter in the singles.
“The way I look at it, we’ve got one heck of a healthy lead. We’ve got 12 hungry guys to get this thing done. They have a really tall task in front of them, a score that’s never been overcome.
“They have run the score up on us before. And if we have the opportunity, we are going to run it up on them. We have guys that are hungry to win a point.”
Former world number one Rory McIlroy was sent out in the opening singles match for the third Ryder Cup in succession, despite having lost to Patrick Reed at Hazeltine in 2016 and Justin Thomas in Paris three years ago.
McIlroy had also lost all three of his matches at Whistling Straits without even reaching the 16th hole and faced a daunting task against Olympic champion Xander Schauffele who had won all three of his matches.
Shane Lowry Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia were sent out behind McIlroy as Europe captain Padraig Harrington sought the fast start required to have any chance of retaining the trophy, with Lee Westwood, Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick in the last three matches.
Europe famously overturned a 10-6 deficit at Medinah in 2012 by winning eight and a half points in the singles and Harrington said: “I’m sure they know they have a very tall order ahead of them, but it’s still possible.
“It’s only half a point more (required) than we won in the singles at Medinah. They have to just go out there and win their own individual match. There’s nothing more they can do than that.
“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.”