Ryder Cup 2014: first blood to Europe

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Europe drew first blood in their defence of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles but it was the United States who had the psychological advantage in the morning fourballs.

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson put the hosts’ first point on the board with a 5&4 victory over Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson - who failed to make a birdie between them - in the top match.

Europe on the first green during day one of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles Golf Course. Picture: PA

Europe on the first green during day one of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles Golf Course. Picture: PA

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With Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer two up with five to play there was further optimism for Europe but the other two American pairs were making something of a statement.

Rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed belied their inexperience by demolishing Europe’s talisman Ian Poulter and debutant Steven Gallacher, who somewhat incredibly found themselves six down with seven to play with the Englishman - Europe’s top points scorer in the last three events - having failed to make a birdie all morning.

And the United States just had the edge in the final match of the stellar pairings, with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley one up through 11 having been two up after clawing back a one-hole deficit conceded at fourth when Sergio Garcia, partnering Rory McIlroy, holed his bunker shot.

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