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Sergio and Rafa going well on Friday afternoon
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Europe

Europeans staging afternoon comeback

Europe made an excellent start to the fourballs at Hazeltine National as they attempted to put their morning of misery behind them on day one of The Ryder Cup.

The United States had completed a 4-0 whitewash in the foursomes, leaving Europe in desperate need of putting some points on the board if they were to keep their dreams of a fourth consecutive victory alive.

And Darren Clarke's men were making an excellent fist of it, moving ahead in three of the four matches in the afternoon session.

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson had lost 3 and 2 to Patrick Reed earlier in the day but were two up after 11 holes in the rematch, while Spanish duo Rafa Cabrera Bello and Sergio Garcia opened up a four-hole lead over JB Holmes and Ryan Moore after ten.

Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters were also four up against Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar at the turn, while Danny Willett and Martin Kaymer trailed Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka by three having also played nine.

Reed picked up where he left off in the morning, putting his approach to the first to eight feet for a birdie and while the Americans birdied the next two as well, so did Stenson and Rose.

The Olympic champion then played a beautiful tee-shot on the fourth to set up another birdie and with the home duo both making a mess of the hole, that match was back to all square.

Cabrera Bello showed no signs of nerves on his debut, hitting a beautiful drive and then an approach to six feet to win the first and Willett also made a brilliant start in the match behind, holing a 35-foot putt for a half.

The USA then got a foothold in the third match, however, with a Snedeker birdie on the second and a Koepka gain on the next after getting on the green in two moving them two up.

A par on the first was enough to move McIlroy and Pieters one up early in their match but an eight-foot birdie putt from Johnson on the second levelled things up.

Garcia had shown glimpses of the qualities that have got him to eight Ryder Cups in the morning and he was at his brilliant best on the fifth, putting his approach to tap-in range to move Europe two up.

Lee Westwood said after the morning session that he thought Pieters was playing well and the Belgian rolled a lovely putt down the slope on the fourth to put the visitors one up in the bottom match.

Cabrera Bello took advantage of the par five sixth to move Europe three up in match two and when Stenson birdied the seventh - after Rose had gone in the water - there were three lots of blue on the board.

The Open champion then almost holed his tee-shot on the eighth to send the Europeans two up but Snedeker was producing a vintage putting performance in match three and he put the Americans three up with a birdie on the sixth in that clash.

Another lovely approach from McIlroy on the sixth put Europe three up in match four and when Pieters birdied the next to make it four in a row, the duo were beginning to look dominant.

A Garcia chip-in on the ninth moved him and Cabrera Bello four up at the turn but the Americans were equally in control against Willett and Kaymer when Koepka birdied the eighth.

Willett's second huge putt of the day - this one a 40-footer on the ninth - then cut that gap to three at the turn.