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Ryder Cup: Europe open up 8-4 lead after dominating day two fourballs

Sky Sports | Updated: 2018-09-29 20:10:23

Sergio Garcia became the second-highest points scorer in Ryder Cup history and is now just half a point behind Nick Faldo after the Spaniard and Rory McIlroy held off a late fightback from Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau to claim a 2&1 win in the top match.

That was followed moments later by Europe's seventh consecutive win of the week as Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton stormed to a 3&2 victory over world No 1 Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler, while the inspired pairing of Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari cruised to their third win of the contest.

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They outclassed Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed, who made only three birdies between them, meaning that Europe had won an astonishing eight consecutive matches since Fleetwood and Molinari won the final match of Friday's fourballs to spark the fightback.

But Jim Furyk's side did manage to put some red on the board late in the morning as Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth beat Jon Rahm and Ian Poulter 2&1, a result which Furyk will hope transforms his team in the way it did for Europe on day one.

McIlroy and Garcia bt Koepka & Finau 2&1

Sergio Garcia ensured Europe won the first point of day two with a fantastic putt on hole 17.

McIlroy was the only player without a birdie on his card in Friday's fourballs, but he finally atoned with a good four at the third for a win, and after a par won the next, McIlroy holed from eight feet for his third birdie at six to take the Europeans three up.

The Northern Irishman then celebrated wildly after nailing a 25-footer for another winning birdie at the short eighth before the Americans finally got a hole back at the next, only for Garcia to drain a treacherous putt at 11 to restore the four-hole lead.

Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy were relieved to earn Europe's first point of the day.

Koepka's birdie at 14 gave the Americans hope, which grew when Finau parred the 15th with McIlroy and Garcia both in trouble, and Finau also birdied 16 for their third straight win, but Garcia prompted the biggest roar of the week with a stunning putt for birdie at 17 which Koepka could not match.

Casey & Hatton bt Johnson & Fowler 3&2

The second clash featured a number of balls in the water early, with Hatton, Fowler and Johnson all losing balls at the first before Johnson and Casey tugged their tee shots into the drink at the short second.

But Casey's liking for match play was evident as he reeled off four birdies in a row from the third to take the home pair two up, and Hatton extended the lead with his first birdie at the eighth.

Johnson pulled one back at 11, but Casey hit back at the 14th and although Johnson kept the match alive with a sublime chip-in for a half at 15, the teams traded pars at the next which put another blue point on the board.

Molinari & Fleetwood bt Woods & Reed 4&3

Fleetwood's dream debut continued as he maintained his perfect Ryder Cup record, although it was Molinari who did most of the damage against Woods and an out-of-sorts Reed, who recorded only one birdie with Woods making only two.

Tommy Fleetwood says he feels lucky to play alongside his good friend Francesco Molinari after winning their match against Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed.

The Englishman holed from 25 feet to win the second before Molinari's birdie won the third after Fleetwood and Reed both found water, but Woods produced a decent approach to the seventh and pulled a hole back with his first birdie.

Reed and Fleetwood halved the ninth in birdie-fours before Woods levelled the match following a superb second to three feet at the 10th, but Molinari birdied the next two holes for wins and the Europeans went three up at the next with the American pair unable to make par.

And the deflated pairing of Woods and Reed conceded defeat on the 15th green, although Woods was to be given another chance to arrest the slide as he was partnered with Bryson DeChambeau in the afternoon foursomes.

Poulter & Rahm lost to Spieth & Thomas 2&1

The final match of the morning featured another scrappy start as Rahm hammered his drive into the water before Poulter's par was enough to halve the hole, but Spieth's pure tee shot to two feet won the second after Rahm again found the drink.

Rahm's par was enough to level the match at the third before Poulter got a lengthy putt to drop for a winning birdie at the seventh, which meant Europe were ahead in all four matches at that time.

But Spieth made another two at the next after knocking another great iron to six feet, and he made it three birdies in three par-threes to win the 11th and take his side back into the lead, which Thomas doubled with a birdie at the next.

Rahm finally made his first birdie of the session to pull a hole back at the 13th, and Poulter's birdie at 16 was matched by Thomas - just - to keep the visiting pair one up with two holes to play.

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