Ryder Cup 2014: The USA lead 2.5 to 1.5 after morning fourballs

Phil Mickelson’s birdie at the 18th proves the difference between the sides.

IT’S BEEN AN intriguing start to the 2014 Ryder Cup with the USA narrowly in front heading into the afternoon foursomes.

Europe began brightly and showed some early intent but things became a lot tighter as the morning progressed.

The first pair out, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, beat Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson by 5&4 after a dominant display.

The European pair were in control from the off and Rose in particular played some excellent golf: his delightful putt at 10 proving a real highlight.

The biggest surprise was US rookies Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth. They simply demolished Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher and also claimed victory by 5&4.

Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer will feel mightily disappointed after being 2 up with three to play against Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker. But Walker rallied late on and conjured birdies at the 16th and 18th to ensure it finished all-square.

Walker was in great form throughout and conjured this beauty for an eagle on the 9th.

After a marathon session (having started at 7.30, play was still continuing close to five and a half hours later), it all came down to the most high-profile showdown.

After some back and forth in recent days, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia weren’t able to quieten Phil Mickelson (and Keegan Bradley) though it went right to the wire. At the 18th, Mickelson conjured a birdie to settle it and take the all-important win.

Morning fourballs result: Europe 1.5 – 2.5 USA

Rose & Stenson (Europe) BEAT Watson & Simpson (USA) – 5&4

Bjorn & Kaymer (Europe) HALVED Fowler & Walker (USA) – A/S

Spieth & Reed (USA) BEAT Gallacher & Poulter (Europe) – 5&4

Bradley & Mickelson (USA) BEAT Garcia & McIlroy (Europe) v  - 1 up

Bubba Watson whipped the crowd into a frenzy this morning

Sergio Garcia worked his magic for the first great shot of Ryder Cup 2014

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