Ryder Cup 2018: Rory McIlroy flips switch, leads European charge on Day 1 | Golf

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SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Earlier than teeing off for his Friday morning fourball match, Rory McIlroy performed to the European crowd right here at Le Golf Nationwide. He began a rousing “Thunder Clap” within the huge grandstand behind the primary tee and grinned earlier than smashing his opening shot down the green.

That was the Irishman’s ultimate smile of the morning.

McIlroy was the one participant within the morning session to not card a birdie as he and his taking part in companion, Thorbjørn Olesen, have been the primary to conceded a degree to Staff USA, dropping four and a pair of to Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler.

Then, as certain because the clock switched from a.m. to p.m., McIlroy led Europe on a day cost to embarrass the U.S., sweep afternoon foursomes and flip a Three-1 American result in a 5-Three edge for the house workforce.

McIlroy, who paired with Ryder Cup icon Ian Poulter for foursomes, drained his first birdie of the day on the sixth gap to cut back Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson’s result in 1 up. Then he received the subsequent three holes with pars to go 2 up.

Hastily the U.S. had a Rory drawback full with fist pumps and crowd shushing. And Day 1, which was so promising simply two hours earlier than, was properly on its technique to being misplaced.

McIlroy, like he did with the morning clap, injected life right into a down crowd that was shellshocked early. Moans and groans from across the course reverted again to chants of “Eu-rope, Eu-rope” and “Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole!” after pictures like this one on the 13th gap:

Although these followers coated from hat to shoe in blue and gold ultimately had make technique to the exits, no one believes their enthusiasm will vanish earlier than the morning.

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