NEWPORT (Wales) (AFP) Europe got off to a strong start as they chased victory over the United States at the Ryder Cup here Monday. The Europeans, needing five points to win the trophy outright, led in seven of the 12 singles matches with all players on the Celtic Manor course. Severe weather disruptions earlier in the event had forced play into a fourth day for the first time in the golfing showpieces 83-year history. European talisman Lee Westwood teed off first under misty skies and had moved into a narrow one-up lead after nine holes against Steve Stricker. Westwoods fellow Englishman Luke Donald meanwhile raced into a three-up lead against Americas Jim Furyk, while Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher led by two-up early on in their matches with Matt Kuchar and Jeff Overton. On Sunday, Europe opened up a commanding three-point lead after crushing the Americans in the third session of foursomes and fourballs, winning 5 1/2 of the six points up for grabs. The rout turned a two-point deficit into a potentially decisive advantage for Europe, who are seeking to win back the Ryder Cup after losing at Valhalla in 2008. Europe captain Colin Montgomerie described Sundays performance as one of the greatest days in the teams history but said there was no chance of his players resting on their laurels. All credit to everybody in that team today. All 12 on that course performed brilliantly, Montgomerie said on Sunday. In my time I truly believe that that was one of the greatest days for European golf that we have had. To turn a two-point deficit into a three-point lead was quite amazing. To stop America winning a match fantastic. But all this will be pointless if it is not continued tomorrow. Theres no resting for our team. Were going out tomorrow to win the singles session. United States captain Corey Pavin insisted the Americans would bounce back after a calamitous day for the defending champions. Weve got 12 of the best players in the world and in match play anything can happen, Pavin said. The one thing I can guarantee to you is that Team USA is going to come out firing tomorrow. They have to go out and perform and play and if they do that we have a chance.