Live Coverage: Ryder Cup 2014 - Day one fourballs - as it happened

Phil Mickelson of the United States plays from a bunker on the 9th hole during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014
© Getty Images
Recap the opening fourball session at the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, with USA coming out on top 2.5-1.5 for an early lead.

The first session of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles saw 16 golfers from Europe and USA try to earn their team an early advantage at Gleneagles.

Hosts Europe started the first fourballs stronger, but ended up only earning one-and-a-half point, with America taking a one-point lead into the afternoon foursome session.

Read how Friday morning unfolded with our minute-by-minute updates below.


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7.02amA very, very good morning! I hope you're as excited as I am, the 40th Ryder Cup is just half an hour away.

7.04amIt might be early at Gleneagles, but just look at how jam-packed the first tee is already!


7.07amTHE MATCHES: Each of the first four sessions on Friday and Saturday at the Ryder Cup has four matches, with two players from Europe and the USA competing in each. Here are the opening matches in today's fourball session:

Henrik Stenson & Justin Rose vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson
Thomas Bjorn & Martin Kaymer vs. Rickie Fowler & Jimmy Walker
Stephen Gallacher & Ian Poulter vs. Patrick Reed & Jordan Spieth
Rory McIlroy & Sergio Garcia vs. Phil Mickelson & Keegan Bradley

7.10amWhile the US fans have their "USA, USA!" chant, the favourite of European fans at the Ryder Cup is "Ole, ole, ole, ole!" See below:


7.13amIf you're new to the Ryder Cup, a quick few facts. It's a biennial contest that sees the best golfers from the continent Europe take on their counterparts from the United States of America. It is match play format, where golfers compete directly against each other on the same hole as opposed to golf's normal stroke play, where it is all about individuality. Each match is worth one point and there are 28 on offer over the weekend. If it finishes 14-14 come Sunday evening, Europe will retain the Cup as they won the last battle in Medinah, Chicago two years ago.

7.16amAs mentioned below, there are two sessions on Friday and Saturday. Today it's start with fourballs in the morning, with foursomes in the afternoon. Tomorrow, it's the other way around. In fourballs, each of the four players plays their own ball and the lowest score from the two for each team is used for the hole.

For example, if Rose registers a par 4 on the first, but Stenson manages a birdie 3, the Swede's score will be used against the Americans. If they both par the hole in four, then Europe win the hole to go '1 Up'. In foursomes, just one ball is used per team and the two players alternate shots. The scoring system is the same.

7.19amA match is won when the amount that one team is up exceeds the amount of holes remaining - if Rose and Stenson are 3 Up after the 16th, there are only two holes remaining so they win 3&2 and register a blue point for Europe. If the match remains 'all square' after 18, then it is halved and each team takes a half-point. Easy, right?

7.23amTEN TO GO!


7.26amBoth captains - Paul McGinley and Tom Watson - have now arrived on the tee to big cheers. The former, being the home captain, of course got a much louder one. The loudest cheer so far? Maybe for veteran announcer Ivor Robson, who is a favourite of both the fans and the players.

7.29amIf you haven't been following our build-up to the contest so far this week, you've probably missed our in-depth previews for the two teams. Get clued up on Europe here, and familiarise yourself with the Americans here.

7.31amHere come the two opening European players, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose. Rose is obviously the colder of the two as he wears a beanie and some ridiculously oversized mittens to keep his hands warm:


7.33amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 1ST: Each hole at the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles has a name and the first, a 426-yard par 4 is called Bracken Brae. It is a gentle opener, that for most pros would be a good birdie chance. But this is the Ryder Cup and these players won't have felt pressure as big as this before! It is 260 yards to reach the right-hand fairway bunker and driving up the left gives you best angle into the green.

7.35amA decent cheer as Watson and Simpson's names are called before a HUGE roar as Rose and Stenson are announced. The US will have the honour in all matches this weekend.

7.36amWOW! Simpson hits the first shot of the 40th Ryder Cup and it's a mishit! It stays straight, but he's got a massive second shot in now.

7.38amBubba loves to gee up the crowd and he does just that before smacking a drive that ends up in the left-hand rough. Bad start for the visitors.

7.39amPERFECT from the two Europeans, with Rose booming a drive into the perfect position while Stenson takes a 3-wood and also picks out the preferred left-half of the fairway.

7.41amThis tweet from @oliverbrown_tel refers to Bubba's just then and one from him and one from Poulter at the last Ryder Cup in Medinah: "Dramatic but daft. Of the three opening drives that have been struck through wall of sound in Ryder Cups, all three have ended up in rough."

7.44amWhoever is running the @rydercupEUROPE Twitter account is taking some great pictures at Gleneagles:


7.46amBIRDIE CHANCE for Rose as he follows up that perfect drive with a neat wedge to around 10 feet. Bubba is on the green, but a long way away. Simpson also got it up there somehow after that terrible drive, but he's left with a huge birdie putt too.

7.47amQuickly back to the tee, where the four players in the second match - Thomas Bjorn, Martin Kaymer, Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker - have arrived. Announcer Robson messed up the first name by saying Watson instead of Simpson, hopefully he can improve this time. You had one job, eh?

7.49amStenson found the bunker with his second shot at the first and produced a poor bunker shot. Watson has his par and the pressure is now on Rose to make that birdie and give Europe the early lead.

7.51am"On the tee, Rickie Fowler!" Well done Ivor, you got it right this time. The youngster, who has had an excellent year, albeit without a win, pulls his drive into the left rough. The Americans can't handle the pressure!

7.52amWalker has the driver out and he finds the fairway at last for Team USA.

7.53amBjorn's drives is nowhere near as long as Walker's, but it's in the fairway. Kaymer, who holed the clinching putt at Medinah two years ago, is last up in match two and also hits the short stuff. Four nerveless drives from McGinley's men to start. Just one good one for Watson's boys.

7.54amRose's birdie putt has the perfect line, but just comes up short so the first hole of the 40th Ryder Cup is halved in par fours.

7.57amHere come the third European pair - Gallacher and Poulter - to the first tee. This is without doubt the group that will cause the biggest cheer of the morning, with Gallacher the Scottish favourite and Poulter simply a Ryder Cup legend. They're up against a rookie American duo in youngsters Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth.

7.59amWOW! Moments after Fowler's approach plugs in the greenside bunker, Kaymer almost holes his approach to the 1st! His ball bounced once, spun around the hole before stopping a couple of feet away. Pressure now on Walker...

8.00amAnd a good shot from the rookie, whose little wedge ends up about the same distance as Rose in the previous group. Both will be expecting birdies. Bjorn, by the way, missed the green to the right.

8.04amFIRST BLOOD to Europe as Kaymer's tiddler for birdie is conceded and Walker can only push his to the right of the hole. The hosts are up in match two.

8.06amBack to the tee, where the third match has just begun. Reed first to go and his fairway wood just about finds the fairway near the bunker on the right. Spieth also goes against driver and hammers it straight down the middle.

8.07am"On the tee, Stephen Gallacher." The home favourite receives a huge roar before unfortunately pushing his drive straight into the fairway bunker.

8.08amCan Poulter put Europe in the fairway? He really does take his time to psych himself up and with the crowd deadly quiet, he can only find the second cut of rough. Advantage America off the tee on the first.

8.09am

8.11amTo the second, where Stenson rolls home a birdie putt to put the pressure on Watson. Can the Masters champion answer?

8.12amWATSON pulls his five-footer for birdie and that's Europe one up in both of the first two matches.

8.16amNone of the opening three players in match three are able to find the green before Spieth, with the longest, straightest drive, takes advantage and puts it to about 20 feet.

8.17amWhat an atmosphere on the first tee:


8.20amPoulter out of the bunker and that's a fine shot to within a few feet. Can Spieth hole his putt to get some red on the board?

8.21amAccording to @AlexPerryESPN: "Miguel Angel Jimenez entertaining the crowd between groups. Just took a selfie ... with Michael Jordan. #RyderCup" Jimenez is a vice-captain this year for McGinley.

8.22amThe final match is now getting underway and Bradley, who was the USA's talisman in Medinah, slices his tee shot way to the right. Mickelson finds the fairway.

8.23amBOSH! Garcia is in the semi-rough before the last first tee shot of the morning (that make sense?) is BOOMED miles down there by McIlroy, the best golfer in the world.

Rory McIlroy of Europe laughs during practice ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 24, 2014© Getty Images

8.25amOH DEAR! Legendary Ryder Cup player Poulter misses his tiny par putt to gift Spieth/Reed the opening hole in match three. We have some red on the board!

8.26am

8.29amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 2ND: As match three heads to the second, let's tell you about 'Wester Greenwells'. It is a 516-yard par 5, which presents a decent eagle chance if you find the right-hand side of the fairway and avoid the left-side fairway bunker. Don't pull your approach left as there are a trio of greenside bunkers and the first water hazard, which, being in Scotland, is a little loch.

8.29amGarcia safely on the green before MICKELSON delivers a beautiful shot that spins back to within a few feet. Bradley can only find the greenside bunker before McIlroy, from position A, hits an approach with the perfect line but it's a bit short. Advantage Mickelson.

8.30amThe fans on the first were singing "Bjorn beats the USA" to the sound of Bruce Springsteen's 'Born In The USA' and the Dane has just put Europe 2 Up in the second match with a birdie 4 at the second.

8.33am@JasonSobelGC tweets: "Ian Poulter misses a short putt at the Ryder Cup. In related news: Pigs fly; hell freezes."

8.34amFIST PUMP from McIlroy as he holes his 15-foot birdie putt on the first to halve the hole after that superb approach by Mickelson. This last game should be an absolute belter.

8.36amSuperb tee shot from Rose at the 4th, which is the first par 3. Watson, on the previous hole, missed the chance to level the match so Rose/Stenson still 1 Up.

8.41amPressure on Gallacher big time at the second as Reed holes a birdie putt from the fringe. He now has a six-footer to half the hole...

8.42amAnd he does! Good stuff from the Scot. Down the fairway, none of the final four have hit the fairway so reaching the green in two will be tough.

8.44amUPDATE!

Rose/Stenson 1 Up thru 3 Simpson/Watson
Bjorn/Kaymer 2 Up thru 2 Fowler/Walker
Gallacher/Poulter 1 Down thru 2 Reed/Spieth
Garcia/McIlroy A/S thru 1 Bradley/Mickelson

8.46amThings are looking ROSE-Y for Europe as Justin holes that birdie putt at the fourth to send Europe 2 Up in the second match. The hosts lead by 2 Up in both of the first two matches.

8.50amHere's McIlroy teeing off on the first. He and Garcia have both just played pretty poor pitches from decent positions on the 2nd. Neither has a guaranteed birdie, which one of them would have expected.

Rory McIlroy of Europe hits his tee shot on the 1st hole during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

8.55amNeither McIlroy or Garcia make birdie and that will be disappointing given that it is a short par 5. Bradley now has a 12-footer to win the hole...

8.56amIt's just wide with Bradley's belly-putter, which by the time of the next Ryder Cup in 2016 will be outlawed.

8.58amTo the 4th, where Kaymer arrows a long iron close on the par 3. He and Bjorn, who easily wins Ryder Cup Best Beard, have started really well against what should be a formidable pairing in Fowler and Walker. They're 2 Up.

9.00amKaymer's putt creeps in the right lip and that puts the German and Bjorn 3 Up after four holes!

9.03amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 3RD: With the final match now at the 3rd, let's look at 'Schiehallion'. It's a 431-yard par 4 where you need to drive left to avoid the bunkers on the right. There's a narrow entrance to the green and all the trouble is at the front, so it's better to go long with your approach.

9.03amPOULTER sinks his first important putt of this year's tournament on Schiehallion, curling in a right-to-lefter for a half. He and Gallacher haven't began brilliantly and they're one down to Spieth/Reed.

9.06amOn the 3rd and only Garcia finds the fairway. Bradley and Mickelson in the same bunker together, while McIlroy's distance means that he is in the next one forward.

9.09amAll smiles from Kaymer and Bjorn, what a start from the duo.

Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjorn of Europe walk onto the 1st during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

9.10amEurope take advantage of their better positions on the 3rd, with McIlroy on the green and Garcia just short. Mickelson is out to the right while Bradley didn't make a good connection with his bunker shot.

9.11amSPIETH with a fabulous tee shot at the first par 3 - number 4 - but Poulter answers with his own to a few feet.

9.13amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 4TH: Named 'Gowden Beastie' which translates to mean Golden Bear after the legendary Jack Nicklaus who designed the course. Usually 239 yards, today it is playing 191. If the wind is in your face and you're going off the back tees, it may be hard to even reach the dancefloor.

9.14amBradley might have been way short on the 3rd, but he's just pitched it to within gimme range. Can Garcia/McIlroy make birdie to put Europe up in the final game?

9.17amSurprising miss from Spieth at the 4th after Poulter failed to convert his birdie putt. The Americans remain 1 Up there.

9.18amBut better news for the US as Fowler makes an unlikely birdie on the hardest hole - number 5 - to reduce the deficit in the second match to 2 Down.

9.20amIn the first game, Stenson misses his birdie putt at the par-3 6th, but he and Rose are still 2 Up. Fine start for the opening pair.

Justin Rose (R) of Europe celebrates his birdie with Henrik Stenson on the 4th hole during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

9.22amUPDATE!

Rose/Stenson 2 Up thru 6 Simpson/Watson
Bjorn/Kaymer 2 Up thru 5 Fowler/Walker
Gallacher/Poulter 1 Down thru 4 Reed/Spieth
Garcia/McIlroy A/S thru 3 Bradley/Mickelson

9.23amWHAT A SHOT! We have our first holed shot from off the green as SERGIO GARCIA rattles it in off the pin from the greenside bunker at the 4th.

9.25amThat means Mickelson has to hole his chip from the rough and he can't do so. Deadlock broken in the anchor match with Garcia/McIlroy 1 Up on Bradley/Mickelson.

9.26am

9.26amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 5TH: As mentioned below, the 5th hole - 'Crookit Cratur' - is the hardest on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles. It is a 461-yard par 4 with a narrow, uphill tee shot. There is water on the right, bunkers to the left for your downhill approach.

9.28amGallacher has made a nervy start to his first Ryder Cup and wildly sliced his drive at the 5th. He received a free drop from the path, but has just hit his second right on the edge of the greenside hazard.

9.30amThe top group is at the 7th now and both Rose and Stenson hit better approaches than Simpson and Watson. Maybe the chance to go 3 Up for Team Europe.

9.31amKaymer with a short birdie putt on the 6th to regain he and Bjorn's three-hole advantage. Poor from the German, though, as he fails to properly hit it and it tails away to the right.

9.35amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 6TH: The second par 3 on the front nine, 'Mickle Skelp' translates to mean little hit and should just be a short-iron for most of the players. The official yardage is 201, but with its downhill nature it plays shorter. It's better to go long, with sand left and boggy marshland short and to the right. Poulter and Gallacher are now headed there and 1 Down to Reed and Spieth after Poulter holed a clutch putt at the 5th.

9.38amBack down the 5th fairway and Garcia/McIlroy are both on the fairway, with Bradley/Mickelson in the rough on either side.

9.38amWatson isn't happy up at the 7th as Rose makes him putt a tiny one for the half. The Englishman probably should have conceded that and there was a little shake of the head from Watson walking off the green.

9.42am

9.46amThe final group are really struggling on Crookit Cratur and making it look like the hardest hole on the course. Despite finding the fairway, McIlroy was poor with the approach and it's down to Mickelson and Garcia on the green, but they're both a long way away.

9.49amNo mistake from Garcia with his four-footer to half the hole. He and McIlroy remain 1 Up after five.

9.50amREED with a superb birdie two at the par-3 6th. Poulter has a lengthy birdie putt of his own to half the hole. Europe about to go 2 down in match three I fear.

9.51amAnd yes, a good effort from the hero of Medinah, but it rolls just right of the hole. Poulter isn't playing brilliantly, but he needs some help from the nervy Gallacher. America's two rookies look much more at home than the local favourite.

9.53amHow did that stay out?! Stenson's birdie try at the 8th rolls up nicely and just clips the edge on its way past. Stenson thought it was in, but they remain 2 Up approaching the turn.

9.57amThese are the jumpers some American players are wearing this morning, with a big Ryder Cup print on the front. I have to say I likey likey:

Jimmy Walker (L) and Rickie Fowler of the United States line up a putt on the 3rd hole during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

9.59amBy the way, my colleague Darren Plant will be my main Ryder Cup companion for the first two days and he's currently busy writing up 'At The Turn' updates which will give you the lowdown on how each match has gone in the first nine holes. I'll link you to them once they're live.

10.00amThe Ryder Cup's YouTube channel is handily providing video updates for the big moments. Here's Garcia's holed bunker shot at the 4th:


10.01amBjorn and Kaymer are 2 Up at the 8th, but could be about to be pegged back. The European duo are both in greenside bunkers, while Fowler and Walker are either side of the pin.

10.04amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 7TH: A long, 468-yard par 4 but if you can keep your drive straight and away from the right-hand fairway bunker, the green is relatively unguarded and won't punish you too much if you're a little wayward with your approach. The third match is currently on 'Larch Gait'.

10.04amMickelson's birdie putt to win the 6th hole in the anchor match lips out so Garcia and McIlroy remain 1 Up.

10.05amThe greatest basketball player of all time and a keen golfer, Michael Jordan is at Gleneagles.


10.07amWe all remember this scene from Space Jam, right?


10.08amKaymer's bunker shot from behind the 8th is AWFUL. He overhits it massively and there's now loads of pressure on Bjorn to hole his tricky par putt after both Fowler and Walker failed to make birdie.

10.09amThe Dane is back in the European Ryder Cup team for the first time in 12 years and is playing really well. He holes the putt and that's a surprising half from Europe after their approaches. They remain 2 Up.

10.10amGallacher and Poulter continue to struggle and now Spieth has a short birdie putt to send the Americans 3 Up after seven.

10.11amSPIETH makes no mistake and is Poulter set to lose his first Ryder Cup match since 2010? The Englishman is 3 Down alongside Gallacher thru 7.

10.12amTo be honest, I'm not overly surprised by that scoreline. I don't expect Poulter to be as good in this Ryder Cup as ones previously and pairing him with rookie Gallacher seemed an odd choice. For me, it made more sense to pair the Scot with someone in better form like a McIlroy, Garcia or Rose. Reed and Spieth are young and fearless, unlike Gallacher who is clearly feeling the pressure of the home crowd.

10.15amHere's Reed and Spieth with captain Tom, who will be delighted with the young duo's performance.

USA trio Patrick Reed, captain Tom Watson and Jordan Spieth look on from the 1st tee during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

10.18amSTENSON makes birdie at the mighty par-5 9th to put Europe 3 Up at the turn in the opening match.

10.20amUPDATE!

Rose/Stenson 3 Up thru 9 Simpson/Watson
Bjorn/Kaymer 2 Up thru 8 Fowler/Walker
Gallacher/Poulter 3 Down thru 7 Reed/Spieth
Garcia/McIlroy 1 Up thru 6 Bradley/Mickelson

10.20amSo it's European blue in three matches, American red in one.

10.23amGallacher's best moment of the day as his approach to the 8th stops just a few feet short. Poulter misses the green, but Reed answers with a lovely curling shot in of his own.

10.24amClick here for our first 'At The Turn' update, with Rose and Stenson leading Simpson and Watson by three holes.

Justin Rose (R) of Europe celebrates his birdie with Henrik Stenson on the 4th hole during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

10.26amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 8TH: 'Sidlin' Brows' is a 419-yard par 4 with a severely two-tiered green. Off the tee, you must avoid the bunkers down the left.

10.26amThe final match is now headed to Sidlin' Brows and it's back level after Bradley and Mickelson won the 7th. Garcia missed a short putt and Bradley made no mistake with his from a few feet.

10.29amA brilliant front nine by Europe's opening duo and ROSE has just holed a lengthy birdie putt at 10 to put him and Stenson 4 Up, which is the biggest lead by anyone today.

10.30amSHOT! We have our second holed bunker shot of the day and this time it's from the USA as Walker's greenside flop earns him an EAGLE at the 9th. The second match is now just 1 Up in Europe's favour at the turn.

10.32amMatches one and three have been very one-sided, while in two America have responded and in the last it's anybody's game. I love the Ryder Cup! Remember that you should have this page open in a new tab to keep on top of the scores.

10.36amClick here for our half-time update on the second fourball match, with Bjorn and Kaymer 1 Up on Fowler and Walker.

Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjorn of Europe walk onto the 1st during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

10.40amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 9TH: I mentioned it earlier, but the 9th - Crook o'Moss - is a monster of a par 5 at 618 yards. The biggest hitters might be able to get there in two, but most will lay up and get on the green in three. We should see everything from eagles (thanks Jimmy Walker) to double-bogeys this weekend.

10.42amAWFUL from Poulter as he slices his fairway metal from the middle of the 9th fairway straight into the water down the right. He and Gallacher have not played well and are perhaps lucky to be just 3 Down.

10.45amRose, who was reportedly stung on the hand by a wasp a little earlier in the round, can't make his putt to win the hole on 11. Still, it's a half and the opening duo remain 4 Up with seven holes to play.

10.46amHIT THE PIN! With Poulter in the drink, Gallacher has to get it close and his wedge in bounces once before clanging off the flagstick! That's actually a little unlucky as it would have been much closer had it bounced past and spun back. Reed follows and sticks his approach much closer. America with a good chance to go 4 Up at the turn in match three.

10.47amThis:


10.50amQuickly away from the live action, check out this feature on the top five Ryder Cups in history. Will Gleneagles 2014 displace one of those from the list?

10.52amREED sinks his birdie putt at the 9th to put Team USA 4 Up on Gallacher and Poulter in the third match. McGinley's bold pairing hasn't gone to plan.

10.55amOur At The Turn update for that match can be found in the tweet below. You've already seen it though because you're following us yeah?


10.58amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 10TH: 'Sleekit Howe' is a 208-yard par 3 from an elevated tee. It will play shorter than the yardage because of the drop to the dancefloor and avoiding the troublesome bunkers either side of the green is crucial. Gallacher, Poulter, Reed and Spieth just teeing off there now.

11.03amAnd it's a BIRDIE for Spieth at Sleekit Howe to put him and Reed 5 Up on Gallacher and Poulter. It's the biggest lead of the day and such an impressive showing by the two young rookies. The European duo haven't been good, but take nothing away from Reed and Spieth.

11.06amGORGEOUS GLENEAGLES! Look at this fabulous image from earlier this morning of the 6th hole at the PGA Centenary Course. Beautiful!

A general view of the 6th green during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

11.09amIt's been a wee while since we checked in with the final match, which is at the long par-5 9th. McIlroy is about 15 feet away after his third shot, while Bradley has just splashed out from the greenside bunker to about 10 feet. The Americans have the advantage and could go ahead at the turn.

11.10amSo close to another eagle from the greenside bunker at the 9th as Mickelson's effort comes up just short. McIlroy has to now hole his putt to ensure that the match stays all square at half time...

11.12amMickelson couldn't hole it, but Walker did earlier. Not quite as spectacular as Garcia's earlier in the day, but still, what a shot!


11.13amHere goes Rors and it slides by to the right. Mickelson and Bradley take a one-hole lead at the turn in the final match.

11.15amUPDATE!

Rose/Stenson 4 Up thru 12 Simpson/Watson
Bjorn/Kaymer 1 Up thru 11 Fowler/Walker
Gallacher/Poulter 5 Down thru 10 Reed/Spieth
Garcia/McIlroy 1 Down thru 9 Bradley/Mickelson

11.18amSo it's now Europe up in the first two, America ahead in the second two.

11.19amClick here for our final At The Turn update for this morning's fourballs, with McIlroy and Garcia now behind after a good start.

Rory McIlroy of Europe hits his tee shot on the 1st hole during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

11.20amREED with another holed putt to put the Americans 6 Up with seven to play in the third match. That one could be over on the next hole if they win it. A nightmare debut for Gallacher and one of Poulter's worst ever Ryder Cup displays surely.

11.23amMore good news for the US as Bradley holes a lengthy birdie putt at the 10th and McIlroy can't answer from closer in. Bradley and Mickelson have won two in a row and suddenly have a good lead over the marquee pair of Garcia and McIlroy, who, remember, are world-ranked one and three.

11.24amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 11TH: A short, 350-yard par 4, 'Laich Burn' will see most players take a fairway wood or even iron off the tee to guarantee finding the fairway. That leaves a wedge for your approach and we should see plenty of birdies here. The final match has just teed off at this hole.

11.28amThe first match is at the drivable par-4 14th and victory for Rose and Stenson would put the first point on the board in the blue half.


11.32amAnd the first pair are in strong position. They both have putts to win the match...

11.36amBJORN with the chip-in on 13 to restore his and Kaymer's two-hole lead over Fowler and Walker.

11.37amEUROPE WIN THE FIRST POINT! Rose rolls home his birdie putt and that is good enough for a 5&4 victory over Simpson and Watson. The Americans didn't make a single birdie, which in fourballs simply isn't good enough.

Justin Rose (R) of Europe celebrates his birdie with Henrik Stenson on the 4th hole during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

11.40amTwo bogeys from Bradley and Mickelson at the 11th and that means that the final match is back to 1 Up in the Americans' favour. A gift, that, for Garcia and McIlroy.

11.43amAt last a hole won by Gallacher and Poulter at the 12th as they cut Reed and Spieth's lead to 5 Up with six to play. This would be one of Poulter's all-time great comebacks if he could pull this off. You just can't see it, though.

11.46amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 12TH: 'Carn Mairg' is another par 4 (445 yards) where you need to avoid some dangerous fairway bunkers. They are down the right side and a drive down the left will give you the best chance of a birdie.

11.48amOne point down, 13 to go for Europe to keep hold of the Samuel Ryder trophy.


11.53amFowler misses a birdie putt at the 14th so Bjorn and Kaymer remain 2 Up with four to play in the second match.

11.57amHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 13TH: 'Wimplin Wyne' is a downhill 481-yard par 4. There's a bunker down the right and one in the middle of the fairway too. Most will clear the one in the middle so a drive up the right that avoids the bunker about 290 yards away is the best line off the tee. If the wind is against you, the greenside bunker at the front will surely come into play.

11.58amAnd that's where the final match is now headed after Europe got away with a half on the 12th. Mickelson had a short birdie putt but couldn't convert. He and Bradley still lead by one.

12.00pmMIDDAY UPDATE!

Rose/Stenson won 5&4 Simpson/Watson
Bjorn/Kaymer 2 Up thru 14 Fowler/Walker
Gallacher/Poulter 5 Down thru 12 Reed/Spieth
Garcia/McIlroy 1 Down thru 12 Bradley/Mickelson

12.01pmUnfortunate for Gallacher, who hit a lovely approach to the 13th but just pushed his birdie try past the hole. It looks like he and Poulter are about go Dormie 5 Down. If you don't know, that means that they are 5 Down and that only 5 holes remain. The best they can now do is win every hole to earn a half-point.

12.03pmAnd yes, Reed again cool as a cucumber from close range. He and Spieth are Dormie 5 going to the 14th. Speaking of which...

12.05pmHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 14TH: It's always nice to have a drivable par 4 and that's exactly what 'Nebit Knowe' is at 320 yards long. The biggest hitters like McIlroy, Walker and Stenson will be able to reach the green with a clean hit off the tee. The pin is often just over the bunker so getting close is unlikely. If players are going for it from the tee, they will favour the left side as there is less danger over there.

12.07pmBjorn and Kaymer are now 2 Up with three to play as Walker's putt to win the hole has the perfect line but just not enough pace. Will it be the Dane-German duo who nab the second point of the day, or will Reed and Spieth deal with Gallacher and Poulter first?

12.09pmThe final group are having a torrid time on 13! Bradley has just had to play one off the cart path and hit it far too sweetly, clearing the green by miles. Mickelson's way down the left after two shots and McIlroy isn't doing much better.

12.13pmYou have to say that Mr McIlroy has been a little disappointing after that brilliant opening birdie on the 1st. In fact, the final match has lacked quality for the most part, with plenty of errors from both pairs.

Rory McIlroy of Europe hits his tee shot on the 1st hole during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

12.17pmSpieth and Reed both miss their birdie chances on the short 14th so now Poulter has a chance to extend the match by another hole. If he misses, he loses 5&4.

12.18pmUSA ON THE BOARD! Young rookies Reed and Spieth defeat Gallacher and Poulter 5&4. @JustinRayGC tweets: "Ian Poulter's 7-match win streak in the @rydercup is over. Previous loss: 1st session in 2010 to Stricker/Woods (also fourball)." Not great from Gallacher, who will almost definitely not play in this afternoon's foursomes.

Stephen Gallacher of Europe reacts to a missed putt on the 8th hole during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

12.22pmSo, two matches left on the course. Bjorn and Kaymer are 2 Up on the 16th green, while the anchor match is now back to all square as Garcia and McIlroy win the 13th with a par 4. Bad hole from Bradley and Mickelson.

12.25pmRory and Sergio both going for the green at the short 14th and they produce two big hits to put more pressure on Bradley and Mickelson after their poor showing on the 13th.

12.26pmWALKER chips in from just off the green on the 16th to reduce the deficit to just one hole as the second match heads to the 17th. He's been poor with the putter all day but has now holed two chips from off the green!

12.29pmUPDATE!

Rose/Stenson won 5&4 Simpson/Watson
Bjorn/Kaymer 1 Up thru 16 Fowler/Walker
Gallacher/Poulter lost 5&4 Reed/Spieth
Garcia/McIlroy A/S thru 13 Bradley/Mickelson

12.29pmThe top match is now finely poised but a win for Europe on the par-3 17th will give them a 2&1 victory. Fowler is just short of the green, while Walker finds the greenside bunker. Bjorn and Kaymer now playing...

12.31pmKAYMER! Bjorn comes off his shot and it's short and right, but Germany's Kaymer delivers a sublime tee shot to about eight feet. Can Walker hole another bunker shot? It looks like he needs to.

12.34pmBradley holes the longest birdie putt of the four on 14 so now either Garcia or McIlroy will have to find the cup to ensure that they don't fall behind again after bringing it back to all square.

12.35pmAnd SERGIO rolls it in from 12 feet so the final match heads to the 15 still level. That's the first meaningful putt that Spain's Garcia has holed today.

12.37pmFowler SO CLOSE to a birdie from the fringe on 17, but now Kaymer has a putt for the match...

12.37pmWho will be playing against each other this afternoon?


12.38pmKaymer's putt slips by to the right so the second match will go down the par-5 18th. Europe are 1 Up and just need a half.

12.40pmBREAKING! This afternoon's foursomes matches have been announced:

Jamie Donaldson & Lee Westwood vs. Jim Furyk & Matt Kuchar

Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson vs. Hunter Mahan & Zach Johnson

Sergio Garcia & Rory McIlroy vs. Rickie Fowler & Jimmy Walker

Graeme McDowell & Victor Dubuisson vs. Phil Mickelson & Keegan Bradley

12.45pmSo Mickelson and Bradley will anchor the session for the Americans again. Surprising to see Reed and Spieth omitted after their strong performance this morning. Can't see how Mahan and Johnson will beat Rose and Stenson.


12.48pmHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 15TH: 'Ochil Sicht' is a similar hole to the 13th, playing downhill from left to right and 463 yards long. The main danger with your approach are the bunkers to the right.

12.49pmBoth McIlroy and Garcia are safely on the green, but Mickelson and Bradley are in big trouble. It looks like Europe will be going 1 Up for the first time since the sixth hole.

12.51pmPhil! Lefty's birdie try from off the green is curling, curling, curling but just lips out! That would have been a dagger to the Europeans had it gone in. Garcia and McIlroy now with two putts to take the lead.

12.53pmNaff putt from McIlroy as he doesn't even get it to the hole. Over to you, Sergio...

12.54pmGarcia does the opposite, too much pace and the hole should be halved as long as Mickelson doesn't miss his tiddler.

12.54pmTo 18, where the second match is at crunch time. Fowler has been struggling, so it's on Walker to try to win the hole. He, Bjorn and Kaymer are all on the green with chances for birdie.

12.55pmOH DEAR! Mickelson misses that little putt for a par and now Rory and Sergio are 1 Up with three to play.

12.57pmNeither Bjorn or Kaymer troubles the hole and now Walker has the chance to win the last hole and earn USA a half point. Huge moment coming up...

12.58pmNERVES OF STEEL FROM WALKER! Straight in the middle from the rookie so the second match is halved. Incredibly, Europe were in front for every hole apart from the last.

Jimmy Walker (L) and Rickie Fowler of the United States line up a putt on the 3rd hole during the Morning Fourballs of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles on September 26, 2014© Getty Images

1.01pmSo the scoreboard now reads Europe 1.5-1.5 USA.


1.05pmHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 16TH: So, just the final match left on the course and they're now on the 543-yard par 5 16th, which is called 'Lochlan Loup'. Most will go for the green in two and Bradley has just delivered an incredible fairway wood to inside 10 feet. Big eagle chance for Team USA.

1.09pmMcIlroy with the eagle try, but once more he leaves the ball short. The greens certainly seem to be playing a little slow.

1.10pmEAGLE FOR KEEGAN! Bradley makes no mistake with his putt and that brings the final match back to all square. The contest is now guaranteed to go down the 18th.

1.14pmAs the final fourball match reaches 17, the first foursomes match between Jamie Donaldson/Lee Westwood and Jim Furyk/Matt Kuchar is about to begin back on the first. We'll have a live commentary for that session soon.

1.16pmHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 17TH: Rory, Sergio, Phil and Keegan are now at 'Ca' Canny' - a 194-yard par 3. Don't miss the green in the front left bunker, it's deep and a tough one to get out of.

1.17pmWith McIlroy and Garcia out in the third foursomes match, will they have time to get back as their match is going down the 18th?

1.19pmPoor from both McIlroy and Garcia. Rory is way short, with Sergio out to the left. Neither Mickelson or Bradley particularly close either, though.

1.21pmMcIlroy responds to that rubbish tee shot with a near-perfect chip that is conceded for a par. Mickelson out of the bunker goes a good five feet past and now Bradley has a long birdie putt to guarantee the States a half-point. He couldn't do it again, could he?

1.23pmNope, he rolls it a couple of feet past to the right, but that should be a half in threes and they'll go down the last all square.

1.24pmAlways.


1.25pmI did not know this, @rydercup on Twitter: "Did You Know: The only halved match of the 2012 Ryder Cup was the last match (Molinari/Woods). There's already been one halve this year." It looks like there could be another if Rory, Sergio, Phil and Keegan can't be separated on 18. What's 18 like, you say? Well...

1.30pmHOLE-BY-HOLE GUIDE! THE 18TH: The PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles finishes with a 513-yard par 5 called 'Dun Roamin''. Most will want to get up to the green in two. I say get up to the green because finding and sticking it on there is very difficult. Eagles should be quite rare.

1.33pmDarren has just started the commentary for the afternoon fourball session and you can follow that here. Open in a new tab, you know you want to.

1.33pmBack to 18, where McIlroy and Bradley have laid up after drives off the fairway. Garcia and Mickelson are basically side by side in the fairway. What drama!

1.37pmGarcia surprisingly thinks he can get there with an iron, but he can't and ends up in the heavy rough short of the greenside bunkers. He now has a treacherous pitch with the flag just over the sand. Mickelson, too, is short of the green, but in a better position than the Spaniard.

1.39pmTerrible approach from McIlroy as he pushes it into the bunker. Bradley knows he has a chance to heap the pressure on Garcia and deliver a little pitch to a few feet. Sergio has to deliver...

1.40pmHe can't and it looks like Bradley and Mickelson will be stealing a point for the States and giving them a 2.5-1.5 lead after the first session.

1.41pmThe two European players realistically need to hole their bunker shots and neither can. Mickelson also goes close, but it will be up to Bradley to sink his birdie putt...

1.44pmBRADLEY MISSES! Garcia now has a little five-footer for the half...

1.45pmSorry, I was getting ahead of myself. Mickelson still has a putt to win the match...

1.46pmLEFTY MAKES IT! No mistake from Phil, who sinks his putt to give Team USA a 2.5-1.5 lead after the first session.

1.49pm

1.51pmAnyway, that's all we've got time for on this commentary. Remember, we're now covering the afternoon foursome session right here so go, go, go there! What an enthralling morning!

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates holing an eagle putt on the 16th green during the third round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 19, 2014
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