Europe got back on level terms with victory in the first foursomes match on the opening day of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles on Friday.
Trailing by a point after the morning fourballs, home captain Paul McGinley gave Lee Westwood and Jamie Donaldson their first taste of the action and was rewarded with a hard-fought win over Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar.
The European pair were two up after 11 and although the Americans birdied the 16th to set up a nervy finish, Kuchar’s duffed pitch to the 18th effectively ended the contest.
Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson were one up on Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson after 15 holes of the second match, with Graeme McDowell and Victor Dubuisson two up on Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley after 11 holes in the final game.
However, Europe’s star pairing of Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia – ranked first and third in the world respectively – were facing their second defeat of the day as they trailed Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler by one hole with five to play.