McIlroy: Europe probably the happier side


The United States may hold the lead following day one of the Ryder Cup, but Rory McIlroy believes Europe are probably happier with their position after fighting back from an opening-session whitewash to trail 5-3.

Darren Clarke's side endured a miserable time in the morning foursomes at Hazeltine and trailed 4-0 when McIlroy and Andy Sullivan - who had been two up with four holes to play - were beaten by Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler.

However, reigning champions Europe responded superbly thereafter, McIlroy and Thomas Pieters among three visiting pairs to put points on the board in the fourball format.

McIlroy ensured his side ended the day on a high, the FedEx Cup champion clinching victory over Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar with a spectacular eagle on the 16th, before cheekily bowing to the hostile American crowd and roaring with delight.

"The consensus at lunch was we have to chip away at the lead. It was [key] to get some points on the board and I don't think we could have dreamed it any better this afternoon," McIlroy told BBC Radio 5 live immediately after his second round of the day.

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

Discussing the passionate celebrations at the end of his match, McIlroy added: "Reactions like that on the last, I just want to let people know how much it means to us.

"I've played one Ryder Cup in the US and this is the second one, and this is definitely a little more hostile than the one at Medinah [in 2012]."

"This guy beside me all day [Pieters] was absolutely incredible. It's his first Ryder Cup and he played so well. A lot of credit has to go to Thomas, as well."