Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines - Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia
laid the foundations for a dominant start by Europe to Saturday's Ryder Cup
morning fourballs as the hosts sought to increase their 5-3 overnight advantage
against the United States.
LIVE: Ryder Cup - Day 2
McIlroy, who struggled mightily in Friday's fourballs,
looked far more like the four-time major champion as he reeled off four birdies
on the front nine alongside Garcia to take a 4-up lead over Brooks Koepka and
Englishman Paul Casey was equally impressive, if not more
so, in the second fourballs, racking up five birdies on the opening six holes
as he and Tyrrell Hatton charged 2-up ahead of Dustin Johnson and Rickie
Tommy Fleetwood, the first European rookie to win two points
on the first day of a Ryder Cup since Garcia in 1999, reprised his successful
partnership with British Open champion Francesco Molinari.
The pair were all square through 10 with Tiger Woods and a
misfiring Patrick Reed at the turn, the latter finding the water as well as the
gallery on a nightmare front nine for the reigning Masters champion.
The Europeans pulled two clear but Woods clawed a hole back
at the 7th, pumping his fist in animated fashion, before levelling the contest
with another birdie just after the turn.
Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm were all square with Jordan Spieth
and Justin Thomas through nine.
Rahm plonked his ball into the water on the first two holes,
but Poulter led the fightback with a birdie on seven to put Europe 1-up in the
anchor match only for Spieth to answer back on the eighth.
The US have not rallied to win from a first-day deficit
since 1999, when they trailed 6-2 at the 'Battle of Brookline' in