Mickelson, Fowler defeat McIlroy, Sullivan one up
In an enthralling back-and-forth foursomes contest, in which Phil Mickelson pulled level with second-placed Bernhard Gallacher in terms of total Ryder Cup matches played with 42, Europe’s Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan controlled the early portion of the match and were two up by the sixth hole before a swing in momentum saw Americans Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson ahead by the ninth. Two fine birdie putts from McIlroy at the short 13th and par four 14th put Europe back two up before the Americans claimed three straight holes in succession after Sullivan found the water with his tee shot at the short 17th. McIlroy, facing an 18-foot birdie putt at the last to salvage a half, missed low and America completed a clean-sweep of the opening morning foursomes.
KEY MOMENT: After McIlroy found the heart of the green with his approach to the par four 16th, Sullivan’s birdie putt to win the hole lipped out before the Englishman then put his tee shot in the water at the short 17th – a huge momentum shift in favour of the Americans.
THEY SAID IT: “It took a lot of heart to come back there. I played a little bit tight and my man here got me to hit some shots in the end and hit some iron shots and got the best out of me. I really cherish the opportunity to play with him. I knew when I first met him many years ago, he was something special.” - Phil Mickelson
“With everything going on, me not having a point and Phil being a big part of getting this task force and getting the players a lot more involved and getting everyone on the same page, to Arnie passing and him being a huge part of this week, this is big for us this morning. Obviously it’s good to get off to a great start, there's a lot of golf left.” – Rickie Fowler