Europe found a couple of combinations that raised it back into contention in this Ryder Cup on Friday afternoon. Captain Darren Clarke is going back to them in Saturday morning’s foursomes:
Rory McIlroy and rookie Thomas Pieters will lead off and Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello will go fourth.
McIlroy didn’t get much help from Andy Sullivan and Pieters was done in by Lee Westwood in Friday morning losses. Clarke put McIlroy with the long-hitting Pieters and they made seven birdies and an eagle to defeat Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.
Garcia lost with Martin Kaymer (0-2 in an awful day) in the morning, then was teamed with his fellow Spaniard, rookie Rafa Cabrera Bello. They defeated J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore.
Spain has produced several successful tandems in Ryder Cup play. Asked if this was a new “Spanish Armada’’ for Europe, Clarke said: “We shall see. They were successful today and truly enjoyed playing together.’’
The United States takes a 5-3 lead into the Saturday foursomes.
7: 35 a.m.: Rory McIlroy-Thomas Pieters (E) vs. Rickie Fowler-Phil Mickelson (U.S).
7:50 a.m.: Henrik Stenson-Matt Fitzpatrick (E) vs. Brandt Snedeker-Brooks Koepka (U.S.)
8:05 a.m.: Justin Rose-Chris Wood (E) vs. Jimmy Walker-Zach Johnson (U.S.)
8:20 a.m.: Sergio Garcia-Rafa Cabrera Bello (E) vs. Patrick Reed-Jordan Spieth (U.S.)