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Ryder Cup 2018: Rory McIlroy outburst backfires - but Europe remain on top

30 September 2018

Woods was one of at least three players heard to use the word "f***" during the day - along with McIlroy and Justin Thomas, while golfing traditionalists would nearly certainly have been offended by some of the other behaviour on display.

Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton followed with a 3&2 win over Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler.

World number one Johnson and Fowler won 4 and 2 against McIlroy and Thorbjorn Olesen, while Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka came from 2-down to beat Rose and Jon Rahm on the 18th.

Reed was the face of the USA victory in the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, but this version of him has been barely recognizable from the one who was labeled "Captain America".

"The Europeans played very good golf this afternoon on a hard setup and in hard conditions and we didn't play our best golf".

The natural place to put him was with Woods, an idol, and they had the unfortunate task of going up against the powerhouse tandem of Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari - losing twice.

The Americans gave themselves a glimmer of hope, picking up the final two points. You know exactly how they are feeling, especially when you've got to go over there and apologise because they are in pain, usually bleeding. Paired with Woods instead of Jordan Spieth-who was paired successfully with Reed in 2014 and 2016-Reed has been uncharacteristically subdued.

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Molinari and Fleetwood had picked up two points from two in their fourballs and foursomes on Friday and were two up early on Saturday thanks to Fleetwood's birdie on the par-three second and Molinari's birdie on the third.

Trailing by two points after the opening-morning fourballs at Le Golf National, home captain Thomas Bjorn brought wildcard picks Poulter, Garcia and Henrik Stenson into the action and the decision paid off in style. Although they were 4 DOWN, the European pair fronted up with birdies on 14 and 15.

"They did that a lot to us". US captain Jim Furyk said he would shake up the order for Saturday afternoon foursomes, and that meant keeping Lefty on the bench. They just need the rest of the U.S. team to start playing like them.

"We've got to take all that in, and you look at Brookline, Medinah, plenty of examples of these scorelines not meaning a lot until you get to singles", he said.

Incidentally when asked about whether their energy levels were waning after playing two 36-hole days in a row Thomas and Spieth had a simple answer: "We are 25 years old".

Europe will begin the singles as strong favourites, but their opponents will at least feel they have some momentum after responding to a stunning streak of eight points in succession for Thomas Bjorn's side across Friday and Saturday.

Ryder Cup 2018: Rory McIlroy outburst backfires - but Europe remain on top