Ryder Cup 2014: Europe fight back in foursomes

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Europe managed to dominate Friday's foursomes to take a 5-3 lead during day one at Gleneagles.

Europe managed to win three of the four matches and a sublime comeback from Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia earned them a half to take the afternoon session 3.5-0.5.

Jamie Donaldson, making his first Ryder Cup appearance, and Lee Westwood played Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar in the afternoon's first match.


All four players had sat out of the morning session which saw USA take a a 2.5-1.5 lead. Although Stephen Gallacher failed to mark his mark during his debut, Donaldson made his mark and looked impressive throughout.

Furyk and Kuchar had began well but birdies at holes six and seven put them ahead while another birdie at the 11th put them two holes ahead.

The Americans looked to make it a nervy finish but Westwood and Furyk managed to half both the 16th and 17th and won the last for a 2Up victory.

Relished the battle

Donaldson enjoyed his debut and relished the battle with Furyk and Westwood.

"My first Ryder Cup was just an incredible day," said Donaldson. "I was playing against two quality players like Jim and Kuch - it's a battle. I think we played as well as we could have played there and (it came down to) the last, so it just shows how tough it is in this great format."

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson followed Donaldson and Westwood and managed a 2 & 1 triumph.

The pair, who had won their fourball match in the morning, let a two hole lead slip after opponents Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson birdied the 7th and 8th to claw it back.


But Rose and Stenson rallied to win holes 11, 15 and 17 with the U.S only managing to take one further hole to give Europe another point.

A magnificent finish from Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia saw him half the match with Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker as they finished with three successive birdies. The European pair were two down with two holes to play but earned half a point.

Monster putt

McIlroy sunk a monster 40-foot putt on the 17th and the pair took momentum onto the final hole to birdie and snatch victory away from Walker and Fowler.

World number one McIlroy was glad to have achieved something from his two matches on the opening day.

“We needed it we really did, we were making life difficult for ourselves out there,” said McIlroy. “I don’t think either of us played from the fairways much. We’ve played two really tough matches but at least we’ve got something out of it.”

But in the foursomes final match Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell managed victory over Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.

Mickelson and Bradley managed a final hole victory over McIlroy and Garcia in the morning but debutant Dubuisson and McDowell achieved a 3&2 victory over the pair to leave Europe 5-3 ahead after day one.


Frenchman Dubuisson will be pleased with his first performance in the Ryder Cup and McDowell sang his praises afterwards.

"Victor and I were really fired up for this afternoon.

"I've got to say, one thing about my Ryder Cup experience is that I always get good partners. I played with Rory McIlroy the last couple and this kid right here - I'm telling you right now folks - this kid's the next superstar in Europe."

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