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Rory McIlroy leads fight to keep Europe’s Ryder Cup hopes alive

PGA: Ryder Cup

If Rory McIlroy’s significance to Europe was obvious in advance of this Ryder Cup, few could have envisaged his rising status as battle fever gripped Hazeltine. McIlroy might be the most unlikely of pantomime villains given his routine popularity both on and off the course but that is precisely his role as cast by the galleries here.

Rory McIlroy acclaims ‘buoyant’ Ryder Cup team after fightback

PGA: Ryder Cup

Rory McIlroy insisted the European team mood is “buoyant” after an afternoon Ryder Cup recovery took Darren Clarke’s men from a morning deficit of 4-0 to 5-3 by close of play on day one at Hazeltine. McIlroy, who celebrated in emphatic style after converting an eagle putt on the 16th green to seal a third point for Europe, admitted to being inspired in part by a “hostile” home crowd.


PGA: The Tour Championship by Coca-Cola - Third Round

Rory McIlroy making timely pursuit of Dustin Johnson and FedEx Cup title

The identity of the man looking to halt a Dustin Johnson procession to the FedEx Cup and $10m prize is more fascinating than the fact a battle has ensued in the first place. Rory McIlroy’s third round of 66 at the Tour Championship, combined with an unforeseen late stumble by Johnson, has set up a thrilling finale on the outskirts of Atlanta.

PGA: Ryder Cup

Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy deliver exquisite theatre in heavyweight clash

The spectators tightly packed in the temporary grandstands along the 1st hole had been there for hours by the time Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed walked to the opening tee for the top singles match at 11.04am local time on Sunday, waving American flags that volunteers had distributed from brown cardboard boxes, sucking down Budweiser tallboys and gyrating to the Guns N’ Roses and John Cougar Mellancamp and Tom Petty that blared at ear-splitting volumes from the loudspeakers overhead as the sun climbed slowly over Lake Hazeltine.


PGA: Ryder Cup

Rory McIlroy defends ‘fantastic’ American galleries at the Ryder Cup

The topic which dominated post-Ryder Cup media duties for the European team had nothing to do with the concession of the trophy for the first time since 2008. Rather, the level of hostility those visitors to Hazeltine encountered from a frenzied home crowd created a narrative which will flow into 2018 and Paris. The reserved French may tone matters down.