USA hold upper hand despite McIlroy, Pieters excelling

Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters picked up where they left off at Hazeltine on Saturday, but the United States were nevertheless on course to extend their lead in the 41st Ryder Cup.

A stunning eagle from McIlroy at the 16th rounded off an excellent second session for Europe on the opening day, which saw the reigning champions fight back from 4-0 down to trail 5-3.

McIlroy and Pieters were duly paired together again for Saturday's foursomes and reached the turn two up on Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, despite the Americans winning the ninth hole.

However, Europe were down in two of the other three alternate-ball matches and level in the other, with the partnership of Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth prospering once more.

Reed and Spieth birdied four of the first five holes and were three up in match four when Sergio Garcia and Rafael Cabrera Bello bogeyed the long sixth.

Brooks Koepka and Brandt Snedeker held a slender lead over Henrik Stenson and Matt Fitzpatrick, the only US fourball winners from Friday one up through eight.

In the other morning contest, Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson halved the first six holes against Justin Rose and Chris Wood.


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