Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole
's live text coverage of the second session at the 40th Ryder Cup
Well what a morning it has been! After Justin Rose
& Henrik Stenson
got Europe off to the perfect start, Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth responded for the Americans to level the match up. The following fourballs ended all square between Thomas Bjorn & Martin Kaymer and Rickie Fowler
& Jimmy Walker
to take up to 1.5 apiece, while the remaining game is still out on the course. We will bring you an update on that at the conclusion of the last hole.
We will go through the foursomes pairings one-by-one as they tee off. The first match between Jamie Donaldson
& Lee Westwood
and Jim Furyk
& Matt Kuchar
is all square through the opening hole.
News is coming through that Rory McIlroy
and Sergio Garcia
- who are still out on the course - will be entitled to an half-hour break after they have finished their fourballs, so that's going to see a considerable gap emerge between the first two and last two foursomes. It's going to be a long afternoon...
USA EDGE AHEAD!
At one point this morning, it appeared as though Europe were going to open the early lead but USA
have stormed back in the latter stages to take the initiative going into this afternoon's foursomes. In the final fourballs, Phil Mickelson
has holed a three-foot putt on the last to help himself and Keegan Bradley
to victory against Rory McIlroy
and Sergio Garcia
. You can read up on that match by clicking here
As I mentioned earlier, with both pairings due out in the afternoon session as well, we could see a big gap emerge this afternoon. The first two groups are already out on the course, but McIlroy and Garcia won't begin their contest with Jimmy Walker
and Rickie Fowler
until 2.30pm at the earliest with Mickelson and Bradley returning to play Graeme McDowell
and Victor Dubuisson
shortly after that.
Out on the course, Justin Rose
and Henrik Stenson
, who were ever so impressive this morning, have taken the lead against Hunter Mahan
and Zach Johnson
after Stenson drained a 10-footer. Keep it going, boys!
There's a blow for Europe on the third, though. Donaldson and Westwood have fallen one behind Furyk and Kuchar after three holes.
I think that's us up to speed for now. At this point, I should remind you of the difference between fourballs and foursomes. This morning saw all four players complete the hole with each team's best score being counted. However, this afternoon in the foursomes, just one ball will be in play as each player takes alternate shots.
USA skipper Tom Watson
has raised a few eyebrows by dropping rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed for the foursomes after they outplayed Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher in the fourballs. Watson has admitted that the pairing weren't best pleased but he assured them that they will return tomorrow.
Out on three, Rose and Stenson have hung onto their lead with a half but it could have been so much better for Europe with Stenson missing from no more than 15 feet.
Here's the lowdown on the fourballs action. Europe need an improved display this afternoon.
Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia don't look like they are dwelling on the disappointment of the fourballs. The world number one and three respectively had strode out onto the first tee to resume battle. Their foursome with Fowler and Kuchar is about to get started.
Fowler has pinged his drive straight down the middle of the fairway. Can Garcia do the same? He sure can. That's a monster.
After Matt Kuchar
witnessed his chip lip out, Lee Westwood
stepped up to hole his birdie to get himself and Jamie Donaldson
back on level terms against their opponents. That's what we want to see!
I will now hand you over to my colleague Pascal Lemesre for the next 30 minutes or so, but I will be back so you won't miss me too much. Enjoy!
Thanks Darren. That really was an important putt for Westwood to make. Holing out on the green has always been his weakness so to curl that tricky putt home will be a big confidence boost.
Both Stenson and Mahan make short par putts to halve the fifth hole. Europe remain 1 Up in that match. Kuchar and Donaldson have similar par putts up at the seventh...
ROAR on seven from the home crowd as Donaldson finds the cup after Kuchar's tricky down-hiller went by. Donaldson and Westwood now 1 Up after being 1 Down early on.
A pair of birdies on the 2nd from Rory, Sergio, Rickie and Jimmy. Still all square in match number three.
Stenson's superb tee shot on the par-3 6th is tucked by Rose for a birdie and Europe's star pair from this morning are now 2 Up on Johnson and Mahan. Dubuisson and McDowell halve the first hole with Bradley and Mickelson.
FEELING BLUE! Europe are now up in three matches and all square in one as Fowler and Walker make a mess of the third to hand the advantage to McIlroy and Garcia.
Anyway, Darren's stuffed as much food as he can into his belly so he can guide you through the rest of the afternoon now. Over to you, Daz...
Pascal's spot on - several sandwiches have been downed in record time, and I'm back to take you through to the conclusion of this afternoon's foursomes. I'm returning at the ideal time because blue most certainly is the colour right now...
Europe were already leading in three of the four matches, but in the past few minutes, it has got even better. A missed putt from Keegan Bradley
has allowed Graeme McDowell
and rookie Victor Dubuisson
to move ahead after two holes.
That sea of blue was in danger over at the fourth but McIlroy has rolled one in from eight yards for a share of the hole. I'm not speaking too soon here, but the world number one and Garcia have returned after the break with a positive mindset after losing out this morning. Let's hope that continues!
As far as golf tournaments go, it doesn't get much better than this, does it?
OUT OF BOUNDS! Okay. I may have spoken too soon. Sergio Garcia has just hooked his tee shot on the fifth into parts unknown. Seriously, it's one of the worst tee shots that you will ever see. It's only going to be a matter of time before that hole is conceded and that match is back on level terms.
Wowzers. What a shot from Victor Dubuisson! The Frenchman was hitting out of the rough and over a bump but he's managed to leave Graeme McDowell with a 15-foot birdie foot. But wait, Phil Mickelson
has gone one better and left his approach 10 feet away. They are two crackerjacks.
The opening group have now reached the halfway stage and it remains good news for Europe. Donaldson and Westwood lead Furyk and Kuchar by one at the turn. Read our update here
However, it's not so good news over at the eighth where Rose and Stenson have been pegged back by Mahan and Johnson. That tie is level through eight.
There are so many ups and downs on the course right now. As expected, McIlroy and Garcia concede the fifth to allow Fowler and Walker back to level, but Europe are given a let off on the third when Bradley fails to drain a 10-footer.
Let's have a quick recap. It's been a hectic 15 minutes.
Donaldson/Westwood 1 UP thru 10 Furyk/Kuchar
Rose/Stenson A/S thru 8 Mahan/Johnson
McIlroy/Garcia A/S thru 5 Fowler/Walker
Dubuisson/McDowell 2 UP thru 4 Mickelson/Bradley
As you can see from the previous post, Dubuisson and McDowell have gone two ahead of Mickelson and Bradley after 'Leftie' missed a near gimme. Over on the sixth, Garcia has redeemed himself after that previous tee shot to hole a putt from 35 feet much to reclaim a one-shot lead after six. Things are hotting up.
The last few minutes have gone Europe's way. Donaldson has continued that momentum with a decent approach at 11, but Westwood still has 15 feet to win the hole.
BIRDIE! He's made it! As Pascal mentioned earlier today, Westwood's putting has been a weakness through his career but it stood up well there. He and Donaldson are now 2 UP against Furyk and Kuchar.
There's a topsy-turvy feel to the match involving McIlroy & Garcia and Fowler & Walker. Europe keep edging ahead, but McIlroy has made a mess of his approach at the seventh. Over at the fifth, Mickelson has missed another putt against Dubuisson and McDowell to allow the Europeans to storm into a three-shot lead after five.
Fancy reading our halfway report on Rose & Stenson and Mahan and Johnson? Of course you do. Click here
to read how the match is going at the turn.
CLOSE! At the 10th, Rose runs a firmly-struck putt on line with the hole but it just lips out at the last moment. Very unlucky. Stenson recovered the situation to remain at all square.
Fowler and Walker have two putts on the seventh green to level things up with McIlroy and Garcia and they do so with ease. Up at the 12th, Westwood holes another testing putt to maintain Europe's lead over Jim Furyk
and Matt Kuchar. A win for Europe in that game would see the score move to 2.5-2.5 after five ties. Still, there's a long way to go yet...
Victor Dubuisson continues to make a stellar start to his Ryder Cup career. He and McDowell have halved the sixth to remain three clear of Mickelson and Bradley. Remember, the American duo have never lost when paired together. Is that going to change this afternoon?
EUROPE ON FIRE! Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy have just holed two huge puts for their respective pairings. Rose's effort was from around 30 feet to earn him and Stenson a slender lead after the 12th, while McIlroy's attempt was of a similar distance but it was equalled by a fine putt by Jimmy Walker. That's still all square after eight.
Victor has done it again! It's just to save the hole on this occasion, but with a sharp break to the left from eight feet, it took immense concentration to find the hole. Dubuisson and McDowell are 3 UP after seven.
While we have a slight lull in play, I will point you in the direction of our Ryder Cup section
where you can have a read about everything that has happened throughout the course of the day.
Lull in play? What was I talking about. Cries of 'Europe!' can be heard around the course as Jamie Donaldson and Justin Rose both make putts. Donaldson's was from around 25 feet with Rose's about 15. They are only for a half in their respective games but they could be pivotal come the end of the day.
Hmmm, is that the first chink in Dubuisson's armour? He leaves a 30-foot putt well short and McDowell has work to do if he is to secure the half. Elsewhere, McIlroy and Garcia have reached
the turn level with Fowler and Walker.
McDowell misses his putt, but that was mainly down to what Dubuisson left him with his third shot. Mickelson and Bradley are back to 2 DOWN after eight.
We are getting to the nitty-gritty stage in the top two matches. Furyk and Kuchar need to start holing some putts if they are to recover against Donaldson and Westwood but again, they fail to do so on the 15th. That gives Westwood an uphill putt from 20 feet to win the hole but it's tentative and he's happy to accept the half.
In the second match, Johnson comes perilously close to chipping in from the bunker to make it all square against Rose and Stenson but it lips out. The American was already celebrating as it did so. So unlucky, but Europe won't care.
Jimmy Walker has just made the most exquisite of approaches at the 11th. Fowler will have a birdie attempt from five feet with Garcia realistically having to putt in from 40 feet to earn a share of the hole.
I wonder what these two are talking about?
© Getty Images
Here's the latest from out on the course at Gleneagles.
Donaldson & Westwood vs. Furyk & Kuchar - Europe 2 UP after 15
Rose & Stenson vs. Mahan & Johnson - Europe 1 UP after 13
McIlroy & Garcia vs. Walker & Fowler - USA 1 UP after 11
Dubuisson & McDowell vs. Mickelson & Bradley - Europe 1 UP after 9
Forget that latest update though, it's all beginning to change now. Mahan & Johnson have managed to get back to all square after 14 in their match ith Rose and Stenson, while Furyk has just holed a four footer to reduce his and Kuchar's deficit to Donaldson and Westwood to one shot. Combined with the fact that Dubuisson and McDowell have let slip two holes in succession too, Europe need a response.
All eyes are on the 17th now. Donaldson and Westwood can guarantee a half if they don't lose this hole but Furyk has found the green for the Americans. Westwood's effort manages to reach the fringe but it's advantage USA.
Things are getting equally close at the 15th and Stenson has work to do after Rose launched his tee shot into the long stuff. The Swede makes a fine go of his second shot though, with his ball just bouncing off the back of the green. It's closer than their opponent's ball though.
Back to the 17th, and both teams make par, meaning that Europe have guaranteed their half going into the par-five 18th. Donaldson and Westwood will be hoping for much more than that though. They've been ahead since the turn.
EUROPE HIT BACK! The Americans were beginning to build some momentum but Europe are fighting back. Dubuisson and McDowell are back to 2 UP after winning the 10th, while Rose and Stenson capitalise on a USA bogey to move one ahead of Mahan and Johnson.
Over to the last, and neither team are on the green after two but both have decent shots on offer for the third. The Americans laid up and Kuchar will have about 50 yards to the hole while Donaldson will be chipping from the far part of the green. An up and down would be enough for Europe.
Drama at the 18th! Kuchar has duffed his chip and it hasn't reached the green. Europe should have three shots to secure the first point of the foursomes.
EUROPE LEVEL THE MATCH! After Jamie Donaldson putts off the green and leaves it six feet short, Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar concede the match to allow Europe to take the game by a 2 UP scoreline and also level the match at 2.5 apiece. Game on!
Both players deserve huge credit for getting their team back on level terms, but rookie Jamie Donaldson gets a special mention for holding his nerve coming up the last. His drive set Westwood up with a chance to attack the green and it push the pressure on the Americans.
Elsewhere, McIlroy and Garcia have pulled a shot back against Fowler and Walker to leave the American pair 1 UP after 13. Is the tide changing once more...
Over at the 16th, the hole has been shared been Rose & Stenson and Mahan & Johnson. Europe will take a one-shot lead going into the final two holes.
Rose's tee shot at the par-three 17th is safe, but it's on the green and Stenson will have a 30-foot putt for a birdie. Johnson's opening shot lands inches away from the hole but it bounces to the back of the green. Mahan will be putting off the fringe.
CLOSE! Jimmy Walker must be gutted with that. He has a putt from around 12 feet for a two-shot lead with four to play but while the length is perfect, the direction is marginally off and the ball stops by resting on the hole. Big let off for Europe.
It's all very tense at the 17th. Stenson rolls his putt to the left, leaving Mahan with a chance to level the game going into the last. He sends his effort flying past though and Johnson has a tester...
Johnson misses his par attempt! Rose has three feet for the win...
EUROPE MOVE AHEAD! Justin Rose holes it - of course he holes it - and he and Stenson beat Mahan and Johnson by a 2&1 scoreline. Europe now lead 3.5 to 2.5!
That result has earned Europe at least a share of the afternoon session, which they needed after losing out this morning. The worst case scenario is sitting one point behind overnight, but at the moment, it is looking much better than that. McIlroy and Garcia are still one down, but Dubuisson and McDowell have moved three ahead of Mickelson and Bradley.
Scratch that. Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia are now two down with three to play against Rickie Fowler. A poor tee shot from Garcia put paid to their hopes on the 15th. It's looking like we will be at 3.5-3.5 with just the final game of the day to be concluded.
McDowell has chipped onto the green at 13 to leave Dubuisson with about 20 feet for par. After Bradley leaves Mickelson with around six feet, he's probably going to have to make it, but he doesn't. The ball is in Mickelson's court now.
Mickelson confidently holes out to leave himself and Bradley two down with five to play. There's still plenty of mileage left in that game.
SHOT OF THE DAY! Rickie Fowler, take a bow. And then take another one after that. Jimmy Walker's drive found the rough but Fowler opts to risk a big club in an attempt to reach the green and it pays off. The American leaves the ball around 15 feet from the hole, giving his teammate a chance at eagle and a putt for the match.
It's a fine attempt from Walker but his putt misses to the right. We are off to the 17th with USA 2 UP with two to play. McIlroy and Garcia need birdies and they need them now.
Fowler's tee shot at the par-three 17th is to the left of the green and a birdie would be enough for Europe here. Can Garcia put it in close? It's solid, but maybe not close enough. McIlroy will have 25 feet to take it to the 18th.
Back at the 14th, Dubuisson and McDowell have two shots to earn another half and they do so comfortably enough. Dubuisson had previously hooked his tee shot way to the left so that's a good escape.
Walker chips the ball to within three feet on the 18th, which means McIlroy must hole this putt to keep the match alive. He's made these before, but not so much today.
What a putt! Rory McIlroy drains the 40-footer for birdie and we have a match, people! USA have the one-shot lead but Europe have the momentum now. Off to the 18th we go...
McIlroy's played a stinker of a drive on 18 but it's struck a tree and Garcia has got a decent lie. Jimmy Walker has pulled it down the other side but like McIlroy, the lie doesn't look too bad. This is brilliant.
I suppose we should take a quick check on the other match, which will end up being equally as important. Dubuisson has found the green from the 15th fairway to put the pressure on Mickelson, who follows the same path as the Frenchman and their teammates will have shots from the fringe.
Back at the 18th, Fowler has the big club out again but he can only find the greenside bunker with his approach. It's Garcia's turn, who is eyeing this shot up with menace. He's only gone and nailed it! He finds the back of the green, leaving McIlroy with a 20-footer for eagle. It's magnificent.
What will Walker's response be from the sand? It's not bad, but Fowler has a tricky putt for birdie. It's McIlroy to putt first though. If he holes this, Europe have a share of the game...
It's a good putt but McIlroy leaves it a foot short. Over to you, Rickie Fowler.
Fowler misses! McIlroy and Garcia have a miraculous half. Come Sunday, that could be massive.
When Fowler hit the 16th green with his second shot around 45 minutes ago, this match seemed as good as over, but this is the Ryder Cup, and anything can happen. Rory McIlroy needed to hole a 40-foot putt to keep himself and Garcia in the match, and he made it. The rest, as they say, is history. Rather than the score being 3.5 apiece, it's now 4-3 to Europe, and things are looking rosy for them in the last match too...
With three holes to play, Dubuisson and McDowell remain two shots ahead of Mickelson and Bradley. If they can hold on, Europe will have a considerable lead going into tomorrow's play.
There can't have been too many eyes on this match during the course of the afternoon but the crowds are flocking to the 16th to catch the action. Both Europe and USA are 100 yards away from the hole after two shots, but Mickelson's fourth is short. Can Dubuisson strike here?
He sure can! Dubuisson draws the ball in right to left to leave McDowell with a putt from 15 feet. Bradley's fourth will be off the green. This match could potentially be done and dusted right here.
Bradley's chip finishes a foot from the hole. If McDowell holes this, he and Dubuisson win the final foursome.
EUROPE SEIZE THE ADVANTAGE!
How good has Europe's putting been in the past 30 minutes? McDowell judges the pace and line perfectly, raising his hand in celebration before it goes in the cup. Europe lead 5-3 after the first day's play. It's been an amazing comeback from Paul McGinley
's side this afternoon.
What can we say about that? It's been such an enthralling, captivating afternoon. There has been highs, there has been lows, but after 11 hours play, Europe lead USA by two shots, and the foundations have been laid for the weekend.
We are going to wrap up our coverage of the foursomes in a few minutes, so I will take this opportunity to point you in the direction of our main Ryder Cup section
. There is going to be plenty of reaction to today's action coming right up.
On that note, we will say cheerio for today, but we will be back at 7am tomorrow morning for the second day's play. If you thought today was important, just wait until tomorrow. Goodbye for now.