McIlroy praises 'fire and passion' of Sergio Garcia in Ryder Cup

McIlroy praises 'fire and passion' of Sergio Garcia in Ryder Cup

McIlroy praises 'fire and passion' of Sergio Garcia in Ryder Cup

The home side was the underdog coming into the colourful, raucous team event, but took a stranglehold with a 3-1 victory in the fourballs and two foursomes wins on a sizzling Saturday at Le Golf National outside the French capital.

One of those victories came courtesy of the partnership of McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, with the European pair downing Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka 2&1.

When Open champion Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood made it three wins from three for the new pairing, profiting 4&3 as Tiger Woods only occasionally sparkled and Patrick Reed fell apart, Europe had won eight matches on the bounce.

Casey was hot early, making birdie on five of his first six holes.

Spieth and Thomas, who had lost 5&4 to Fleetwood and Molinari on Friday afternoon, then started to drop putts and get fired up.

Leading 5-3 overnight after a clean sweep of the foursomes matches on Friday afternoon, Europe came out on another crisp, clear-blue French morning at the same rampaging pace, and the U.S. wilted under the onslaught.

Upon finishing the hole, McIlroy started fist-pumping and turned to the crowd yelling "I can't putt?!"

McIlroy and Olesen both missed lengthy birdie tries on the 16th hole to end a one-sided match with a whimper.

And that was on the mind of European captain Thomas Bjorn, even as he was drowned out by thousands of fans using what was left of their voices to sing, "Ole, ole, ole, ole", the European anthem for these matches that Americans have heard far too often.

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"The Europeans played very good golf this afternoon on a hard setup and in hard conditions and we didn't play our best golf".

That sent Spieth and Thomas three up, and three more birdies on the 13th, 14th and 15th sealed the win. "We know if it's four [points] or less it's been done before on Sunday".

And it was McIlroy that hit one of the shots of the day.

United States captain Jim Furyk admitted his side's afternoon slump left a "sour taste", but vowed they would bounce back as he denied claims Tiger Woods was carrying a back injury.

It has been 10 years since Casey last played in this competition, his emotions as the match was sealed reflecting what it means to him to be back.

"We've got to take all that in, and you look at Brookline, Medinah, plenty of examples of these scorelines not meaning a lot until you get to singles", he said.

Said Spieth: "As a team, we need to gain momentum back".

Incidentally when asked about whether their energy levels were waning after playing two 36-hole days in a row Thomas and Spieth had a simple answer: "We are 25 years old".

McIlroy added: "I think a big thing for us this week is resilience and persistence".

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