McDowell and Furyk both showed early signs that the adrenaline was pumping with their opening tee shots, which both went way over to the left of the fairway.
After both teams got up and down for par, it was the Americans who were able to seize the initiative on the second hole to go one up.
However, a spectacular chip from McIlroy at the third restored parity, before he sunk a putt at the sixth to complete the turnaround and move one up.
The Northern Irish duo made it four straight birdies on the seventh, but Snedeker had a chance to get back to all square on the eighth, and made no mistake with his ever-reliable putter.
McDowell sunk a putt at the ninth to put blue back on the board for Europe in the top match.