Golf: McIlroy leads historic European Ryder Cup comeback

Europe's Rory McIlroy reacts after making his putt to win his match 3; 2 during a four-balls match at the Ryder Cup golf tournament Friday. Photo / AP.
Europe's Rory McIlroy reacts after making his putt to win his match 3; 2 during a four-balls match at the Ryder Cup golf tournament Friday. Photo / AP.

A fired-up Rory McIlroy shrugged off an unsavoury incident with a spectator to lead Europe's bid for an historic Ryder Cup comeback at a hostile Hazeltine.

After being whitewashed in Friday's opening session, Darren Clarke's side hit back to win three of the afternoon fourballs and they maintained that momentum on Saturday to win two and a half points from the morning foursomes.

Trailing by a point heading into the afternoon fourballs, Clarke sent McIlroy and Thomas Pieters out in the opening match and was rewarded with five birdies and an eagle as Europe's new star pairing raced into a four-hole lead on Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka.

However, that did not sit well with a raucous home crowd and while walking to the eighth tee a male spectator yelled "Suck a d*** Rory" directly at the Northern Irishman, according to a number of on-course reporters who were following the match.

A video clip posted on Twitter showed McIlroy doubling back - with some fans urging him to carry on walking and others calling for the offender to be kicked out - and confronting the man before then asking security to remove him.

In the match behind, Lee Westwood was looking to put a poor display on Friday behind him and had fired four birdies in the space of six holes to take himself and Masters champion Danny Willett into a one-hole lead against Ryan Moore and JB Holmes.

Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar were ahead of Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia by the same margin in match three, with an inspired Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth three up after eight on Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose.

McIlroy and Pieters provided the early fireworks when play resumed on Saturday on their way to a 4-and-2 win over Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, before Brandt Snedeker and Koepka enjoyed their second win together, this time over Stenson and rookie Matt Fitzpatrick.

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 06 Dec 2016 10:04:59 Processing Time: 565ms