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Rory McIlroy dropped for Saturday foursomes as USA take commanding lead

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy will not feature in Saturday’s morning foursomes after a disappointing opening day in his sixth Ryder Cup.

Europe have been left with a mountain to climb after the USA stormed into a 6-2 lead on the first day of the Ryder Cup, as the Americans showed why they were given the tag of pre-tournament favourites.

McIlroy lost both of his matches on Friday, the first alongside Ian Poulter, before himself and Shane Lowry were dispatched by the USA’s Tony Finau and Harris English in the afternoon fourballs.

Both McIlroy and Lowry will not feature in Saturday’s morning foursomes after a disappointing opening day, which will be the first time the Northern Irishman misses out on a session for Europe since his Ryder Cup debut in 2010.

Pádraig Harrinton on Rory McIlroy.

Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Pádraig Harrinton described McIlroy as a leader before he officially announced his pairings for Saturday’s morning foursomes, while acknowledging things didn’t exactly go his way.

“He’s already a leader. You saw him out there after a tough day; he was out following those matches and supporting his team,” Harrington said, via Golf.com.

“He is very much a leader amongst his peers, and I couldn’t have asked more from him during the year; I couldn’t have asked more from him today.

“Yeah, the golf didn’t go as well as he would have liked, but I’m not second-guessing him for a second in terms of his leadership and what he does for my team.”

Europe look to put a disappointing opening day behind them.

Spanish pairing Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia proved to be Europe’s only winners on the opening day, as they saw off Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth in Friday’s morning foursomes.

Garcia did not feature in the afternoon fourballs as Harrington stuck to his pre-tournament pairings, although Rahm secured half a point alongside Tyrrell Hatton, while Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland also secured half a point for Europe.

The USA’s four-point lead is their biggest lead after the opening day since 1975 and their biggest ever under the current format which sees eight matches played on day one, which was first adopted in 1979.

The Americans have never lost a Ryder Cup after winning the opening session on home soil, and that record looks set to continue unless Europe manage to pull off a remarkable comeback.

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