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Darren Clarke is positive after a stirring fightback on Friday afternoon
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Europe

Pieters and McIlroy to lead off on Saturday

Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters will lead Europe out in the foursomes at The Ryder Cup on Saturday morning as Darren Clarke aims to maintain the momentum gathered from Friday's excellent fourball session.

Having lost the opening foursomes 4-0 Clarke needed a reaction and he got one in style, with Europe taking the fourballs 3-1 to cut the United States' lead to 5-3.

McIlroy and Pieters beat Dustin and Johnson and Matt Kuchar 3 and 2 in the anchor match in the afternoon and they will go out together again at 0735 local time to face Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson.

The pairing of Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson were also victorious on Friday afternoon but they have been separated and will go out with two debutants on Saturday morning.

Stenson will partner Matthew Fitzpatrick in the second match out against Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka while Rose will team up with fellow Englishman Chris Wood against Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker in match three.

Spanish duo Rafa Cabrera Bello and Sergio Garcia, who defeated JB Holmes and Ryan Moore 3 and 2 on Friday afternoon in Minnesota, will then anchor the session against Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth.

Pieters was among the players beaten in the foursomes alongside Lee Westwood but Clarke has absolutely no worries over putting him back out alongside McIlroy, who showed a burst of emotion when making an eagle to seal victory in the fourballs.

"Thomas is the real deal," said Clarke. "He's obviously not that well known over here. He's a wonderful talent. He is developing as a player. He's been very comfortable in the whole situation this week with it being his first Ryder Cup.

"He's fitted in perfectly. Rory and himself got on really well. This afternoon they played very, very well. He's a huge prospect for The European Tour and European golf. He can't wait to get back out there and partner with Rory again in the morning."

With Fitzpatrick and Wood also going out in the morning, all of Clarke's six rookies will have played a part in the first 12 matches and Clarke revealed the two Englishmen are champing at the bit to get out there and show what they can do.

"Matt Fitzpatrick's game is built around greens and fairways, which is a perfect foursomes player," he said.

"Chris Wood, he's a very, very strong player, has been playing exceptionally well in practice.

"I wanted to give the guys the opportunity. They didn't get to play today. They are almost like waiting for Christmas, they want to go and play and I didn't want to hold them back anymore. I wanted to get them out there and give them the opportunity to go out there and play very well tomorrow morning."

After Europe's stunning performance on Friday afternoon, the dream of four consecutive wins is still very much alive and Clarke was proud of the fighting spirit shown by his players.

"Unfortunately the European Team weren't quite firing on all cylinders this morning and the American Team rightly took advantage of that and played some wonderful golf and obviously won the session in a commanding fashion," he said.

"This afternoon the European guys went back out there and they showed just how proud I am and why I'm so proud of them. They showed a massive amount of desire and the fight in them to get themselves right back into it again.

"I would definitely say it's better to have a small deficit with some momentum."

United States captain Davis Love III has gone with a tried and tested formula after Fowler and Mickelson, Walker and Johnson, and Reed and Spieth all won in foursomes on Friday, with Koepka and Snedeker winning in the fourballs.