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Tour Report: Match 1 recap: Europe wins 1 up

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Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell won the 18th hole to win the match

Squire/Getty Images Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell won the 18th hole to win the match
Europe (Rory McIlroy & Graeme McDowell) def. U.S. (Jim Furyk & Brandt Snedeker), 1 up
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MORE MATCH RECAPS: McIlroy-McDowell def. Furyk-Snedeker, 1 up | Mickelson-Bradley def. Donald-Garcia, 4 and 3 | Dufner-Johnson def. Molinari-Westwood, 3 and 2 | Poulter-Rose def. Woods-Stricker, 2 and 1 | Four-ball — Watson-Simpson def. Lawrie-Hanson, 5 and 4 | Mickelson-Bradley def. McIlroy-McDowell, 2 and 1 | Johnson-Kuchar def. Rose-Kaymer, 3 and 2 | Westwood-Colsaerts def. Woods-Stricker, 1 up

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

MEDINAH, Ill. – In the opening match of the Ryder Cup, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell won the match on the 18th hole after Americans Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker rallied on the back nine.

MATCH FLOW: The Americans led for two holes early, but then the Northern Irishmen reeled off four straight birdies, two for wins and two to halve, and Europe was 1 up through seven holes. The U.S. squared the match at the eighth when Snedeker made a 5-footer to save par but Europe seemingly seized control when it won three straight holes starting at No. 9. The Americans, though, began to whittle at their lead, winning the 13th with a par, halving the par-5 14th with a birdie and making another for the win at No. 15. Furyk forced Europe’s hand there by going for the green and McDowell, hitting second, found the water. A third straight birdie at the 16th after a brilliant Furyk approach to 4 feet squared the match. But McDowell, who made the clinching putt at the 2010 Ryder Cup, came up with another clutch putt, this one for par from 12 feet, at the 18th for Europe’s win.

BY THE NUMBERS: The European team won six holes and shot a combined 2 under. The U.S. team won five holes and shot a combined 2 under.

TIPPING POINT: Many will point to the second hole where Furyk questioned the ruling McDowell was hoping to get with his ball perched near a sprinklern head. He didn’t get the ruling but it appeared to fire the two Northern Irishmen up. Granted, Snedeker and Furyk fought back but McDOwell is nothing it not a clutch putter and he got the chance at the 18th hole.

NOTES & QUOTES: "It was a great game today against two really great competitors. Jim Furyk played particularly magnificent. My job is fairly easy. I’ve got the best player in the world beside me and he makes my job extremely easy." — Graeme McDowell. …

“They did a good job of getting the ball up‑and‑down and making the putt. I know Graeme was nervous but like I said, he has ice in his veins, hit a 6‑footer straight up the hill. It looks easy to everyone else, being in that position, I know how difficult it was and he poured it in. I tip my hat to him.” – Jim Furyk …

“Got to 18 with a chance to win the match which is what you’re trying do. I just put an awful shot, put Jim in a terrible position. Hate to do that to Jim, let alone my team, but the team can pick us up this afternoon and get us back in this thing, and I look forward to the next chance to go and put a point on the board.” – Brandt Snedeker …

“That match to me just personifies The Ryder Cup. Myself and Rory played some great golf to go 3‑up, and then you’re playing against two very gutsy players who clawed their way back to all‑square coming down the last two holes. “ Graeme McDowell …

McIlroy and McDowell now have been paired in four Ryder Cup matches. They are 2-1-0 in Foursomes and 2-2-0 in team play together. McDowell is now 2-1-1 in Foursomes and 3-2-2 in team play. …

McIlroy/McDowell were 4-under par on the front nine today, with five birdies. …

Furyk is now 1-4-1 in the first session of matches in the Ryder Cup and 3-6-2 in Foursomes.


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