Europe starts strongly in first-day recovery mission

The likes of Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia were enjoying early success as Europe attempted to wipe out a 3-1 deficit in the foursomes.

Henrik Stenson on day one of the Ryder Cup   -  Getty Images

Team Europe made a much-needed strong start to the Friday foursomes at the 42nd Ryder Cup, after picking up just a point in the opening fourball session.

Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood were the only pair to pick up a point in the morning for the host, beating an out-of-sorts Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed 3 and 1.

Yet, there was plenty of blue on the scoreboard in the afternoon, as Thomas Bjorn's side began to fight back. Bjorn and United States captain Jim Furyk each opted to use all 12 of their players on day one, meaning there were plenty of new partnerships for the foursomes.

Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose – so good together at Gleneagles four years ago - were reunited by Europe and opened up a significant 3up lead over Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler through seven holes.

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It was a similar story in match three, which involved four players who sat out the morning, as three of the first five holes went to Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren against Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau. Fleetwood and Molinari were also up early in the final contest versus Jordan Spieth and Jordan Thomas.

And, although Rory McIlroy - the only player not to make a birdie in the fourballs - and Ian Poulter were two down after three against Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, the European pair won the sixth, seventh and eighth to ensure Bjorn's men were up in all four contests.

The USA could take heart from the fact it trailed in three out of four matches earlier in the day, only to fight back and claim a handy lead.

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