Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2023 Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Rome, Italy

The partnership of Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters continued to lead the way for Europe in an enthralling and high quality fourballs session on day two of The Ryder Cup.

The duo had won their two matches together so far without ever trailing and were eight under through 11 holes to lead Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka three up.

Danny Willett and Lee Westwood were also ahead, one up against JB Holmes and Ryan Moore after ten holes, but Europe trailed in the bottom matches as they attempted to cut the United States' 6½-5½ lead.

Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer were one down against Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar through nine holes while Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson trailed Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth by three after eight.

McIlroy and Pieters were playing in their third consecutive match after wins in the Friday fourballs and Saturday foursomes and McIlroy laid down a marker on the second as he holed a 35-footer on the second to go one up.

Stenson then holed from 25 feet on the first to put Europe up in match four and Willett got in on the act holing a chip from a nasty lie on the second, although it was only good enough for a half.

The birdies were flying in all over the course from both sides and while Garcia was unlucky not to make one for a half on the third after seeing his putt horseshoe out, he will have been disappointed to miss a short one on the fourth as the United States went two up in match three.

The fifth was drivable and with four huge hitters in the top match it was likely one would take advantage. That man was Pieters as he got on in two and put Europe two up with an eagle.

A Reed birdie on the fifth then tied things up in the anchor match but McIlroy and Pieters were flying, with a par from the Belgian good enough to put them three up on the eighth.

Lee Westwood felt he let Pieters down in Friday morning's foursomes but he found his touch on the seventh on Saturday, draining a 40-footer to put himself and Willett one up.

McIlroy put a stunning approach to tap-in range on the ninth as Europe turned four up in match one but he was topped by Reed on the sixth, with the Texan spinning his approach from the fairway back into the hole for a one up lead.

Garcia had missed a short putt to reduce the deficit on the sixth but he produced on the next, putting his approach to tap-in range and there was just one hole in all of the bottom three matches.

Reed soon changed that with a stunning approach to the seventh to put the USA two up and when Holmes went equally close on the ninth, the second match was all square.

Reed's incredible run continued with another birdie after a brilliant tee-shot on the eighth but there was better news for Europe in match two, with Westwood holing another lengthy putt on the tenth to edge them ahead.

Johnson then birdied the 11th to cut the European lead in the top match to three.

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