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Ryder Cup Reed the star as USA regain control in Ryder Cup

We take an in-depth look at the Saturday fourball matches at Hazeltine, three of which went in favour of the USA.

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The United States pulled no punches on Saturday afternoon by earning three clutch points to severely dent Europe's hopes of winning a fourth straight Ryder Cup title.

Hazeltine National was buzzing with chants and roars as birdies and eagles flew around the course in droves.

Our man on the ground in Minnesota, Alec Brzezinski, offers his take on a dramatic session of better-ball action.


Rory McIlroy and Thomas Pieters defeated Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka 3 and 1

A lot of US golf fans may look at McIlroy in a more negative light after this week because of the staredowns and celebrations he has directed at them. Yet the quality of his partnership with Pieters is certainly not in doubt.

McIlroy is now 3-1 this week with all three of his wins taking place with the 24-year-old Ryder Cup rookie at his side. Pieters finished Saturday's final session with five birdies and an eagle on the par-four fifth hole. He has been clobbering tee shots and draining clutch putts when McIlroy needed a lift. This could be a dynamic Ryder Cup duo for a very long time.

Johnson and Koepka hit their fair share of quality shots in this match, but did not make enough putts. This was a risky pairing and a bit of a head-scratcher from Davis Love III after Koepka won both of his matches alongside Brandt Snedeker.


Ryan Moore and J.B. Holmes defeated Danny Willett and Lee Westwood 1up

The two Englishmen turned in a painful performance on and around the greens down the stretch. Westwood must feel like the hole is the size of a needle point. After missing a short par putt on 17, he failed to convert a near tap-in on 18 that would have halved the match.

Moore and Holmes were not spectacular, but did enough to secure a huge point against two of Europe's bigger names. Holmes quietly birdied seven holes and proved in this match that he belonged on the team.


Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar defeated Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer 2 and 1

Arguably the biggest win of the day for the Americans. Though Mickelson and Kuchar are quality players, few would have favoured them over an in-form Garcia and Kaymer. But the experienced US duo combined to birdie four of the first five holes while keeping it loose on the course.

Kaymer fell to 0-3 in the competition with this loss. The two-time major champion has arguably been Europe's most disappointing performer. Garcia did his best, birdieing six holes including the 17th when his team needed it, but Mickelson answered to close things out.

Why did Darren Clarke break up Garcia and Rafael Cabrera Bello? That is a question many European fans may be asking after the two Spaniards followed up a Friday victory by salvaging a half against Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth on Saturday morning.


Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth defeated Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose 2 and 1

Reed might have just turned in one of the best performances in Ryder Cup history. The fiery, passionate player had the crowd going crazy all afternoon with six birdies and an eagle on his scorecard. It was made even more impressive considering it was his fourth straight match, and he and Spieth had just collapsed against Garcia and Cabrera Bello in the morning.

Stenson, who has fought hard despite battling a knee injury, is now 1-3 this week. That is far short of what Europe needed from him. Rose, meanwhile, has two wins in four matches.

Reed and Spieth, like McIlroy and Pieters on the other side, could be a potent Ryder Cup combination for many years to come.

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