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Phil Mickelson hails Keegan Bradley eagle after early Ryder Cup win

Phil Mickelson paid tribute to Keegan Bradley after the pair won a thrilling contest against Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia on Friday.

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The Americans clinched a 1up victory at Gleneagles to hand the US an early advantage going into the foursomes, following a thrilling contest.

In the latter of the fourballs, the US duo twice fought back from one down to win with the help of Bradley's eagle at the 16th and Mickelson's birdie at the last.

Mickelson, who has now featured in 10 Ryder Cups, felt Bradley's effort on the 16th in particular was critical to turning the tide in a dramatic finale.

"We didn't have our best stuff there. You saw it on the back nine, it was tough conditions, we gave a few holes away and we were able to keep the match close," the 44-year-old explained.

"The eagle that Keegan made on 16 was just huge because it gave us a huge momentum boost coming down the stretch.

"Even though we fought it for a few holes, we were able to hang in there until it turned and those shots that Keegan hit on 16 were just stupendous."

All four were kept together for the foursomes later on Friday, with the Europeans out to bounce back from their early disappointment.

Having partnered McIlroy for the first time on Friday, Garcia felt the duo were unfortunate not to halve the match.

"It was unfortunate, obviously. I didn't think neither of the four of us played especially well," said the Spaniard.

"It was tough conditions. Probably the fairest thing would have been a draw, but you're not supposed to be fair here.

"They played the last two par-fives well, and they beat us. Obviously it's not nice to lose the way we were, but it is what it is.

"You've got to hit the right shots at the right times, and unfortunately we weren't quite on today."

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