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Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed were going well against Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose.
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Europe

USA on top in early stages

The United States enjoyed the better of the early stages as The 2016 Ryder Cup got under way at Hazeltine National in Minnesota.

Europe were going for their fourth consecutive win in the biennial showpiece, a run of success that prompted the United States to form a task force to examine their approach to the Ryder Cup from top to bottom.

That looked to be bearing some early fruit as the home side were up in three of the opening foursomes matches on Friday morning, with Europe getting their nose in front in one.

Home duo Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth were two up against European star duo Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson after 11 holes, while Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson led Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan by one hole after ten.

Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer were one up against Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker at the turn but Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar held a commanding five up lead against Thomas Pieters and Lee Westwood after eight.

Rose was handed the responsibility of hitting the first tee-shot and he showed no sign of nerves finding the fairway, with Reed repeating the trick as the hole was halved in pars.

Reed then showed he had his range with his irons as well as off the tee, putting approaches to eight and three feet on the second and third and, while Europe made pars, Spieth holed the birdie putts to put the Americans two up.

The Americans got in bunker trouble to bogey the second in the third match and Kaymer and and Garcia made a routine par to get themselves one up.

Westwood and Pieters then got the final match under way to disperse the huge opening tee crowds around the course but it was not a good start for the pair of Captain's picks, with a bogey after Westwood's tee-shot found the sand sending the United States one up.

A short missed putt from Westwood on the second doubled that lead as Dustin Johnson and Kuchar made another par but there was better news for Europe in match two when both tee-shots on the fourth found the sand and Sullivan played an excellent rescue for a par and a one-hole advantage.

Mickelson went out of bounds on the sixth and when Fowler put the second attempt off the tee against a fence, Mickelson had to play right-handed and the Americans eventually conceded to go two down.

The top match saw three holes in a row halved in par but when Spieth put a stunning approach inside five feet on the seventh, a third birdie of the day had the Americans three up.

More trouble was to come on the seventh for Europe, this time of their own making as McIlroy found the water with his second and Mickelson and Fowler cut the gap to one hole.

That match was all square at the next when Mickelson hit a brilliant tee-shot close and Europe failed to get up and down from a bunker.

Dustin Johnson holed a 15-footer on the fifth to put the United States three up in match four but the Americans got into bunker trouble on the ninth in the top match to get Rose and Stenson back within two at the turn.

The momentum in match two had been completely transformed and a Fowler chip-in on the ninth made it three holes in a row and put the Americans one up.

The final match then looked to be getting beyond Europe as a double-bogey on the seventh and an American birdie on the eighth made the deficit five holes.