© Getty Images
After his first Ryder Cup loss since 2010 in the fourballs with Stephen Gallacher yesterday, Poulter made an encouraging start with a close approach from the rough and winning a birdie at the first hole.
Both pairs then birdied the second before Fowler and Walker both missed birdie chances to square the match at the third.
They did level it up at the fifth, though, when Walker produced a birdie at the hardest hole on the course as McIlroy and Poulter failed to even make par.
Six and seven were halved before world number one McIlroy took over at the end of the front nine, birdieing the eighth and ninth to put Europe 2 up at the turn.
Follow the back nine's play with Sports Mole's up-to-the-minute live blog right here.