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Published: 00:06 | 1/10/16

McIlroy shines as Europe fight back


Rory McIlroy says Europe's golfers "couldn't have dreamed it any better" after reducing USA's lead to just two in Friday's fourballs.

Europe fought back from 4-0 down after the morning's foursomes to cut the USA's lead to 5-3 after day one of the Ryder Cup.

McIlroy and Thomas Pieters beat Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar 3&2, while Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose won 5&4 against Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, and Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello defeated JB Holmes and Ryan Moore 3&2.

The only blot for Darren Clarke's team at Hazeltine was Brooks Koepka and Brandt Snedeker's 5&4 victory over Danny Willett and Martin Kaymer.

FedEx Cup winner McIlroy bowed twice to the crowd after rolling in a 20-foot eagle putt at the 16th hole to secure the victory over Johnson and Kuchar, and admitted afterwards that he was happy to silence the "hostile" American supporters.

"This is definitely a little more hostile," McIlroy said. "Reactions like that [bow] on the last, I just want to let people know how much it means to us."

And, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, the Northern Irishman said the plan was to keep the pressure on the Americans despite the 4-0 deficit after the foursomes.

"The consensus at lunch was we have to chip away at the lead. It was to get some points on the board and I don't think we could have dreamed it any better this afternoon," he said.

"We are probably going into our locker room a little bit happier than they are this afternoon."

US captain Davis Love III says his side were "under par" on Friday afternoon, but backed his players to come back in Saturday's foursomes and fourballs.

"You know it's going to be a close match. We had a great morning, they had a great afternoon. We shot low scores, just got beat by a team playing unbelievable golf," he told Sky Sports

"JB and Ryan hit the ball well, they just didn't get any putts to drop. Everybody was under par, we just didn't play great and Europe played great.

"We need to start over again tomorrow. It's another day and we try to win every session."

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