Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia led from the front as a rampant Europe threatened to open up a commanding lead in the 42nd Ryder Cup.
Fresh from overturning an early 3-1 deficit by winning a foursomes session 4-0 for the first time in the contest’s history, the home side came out firing on the second day at Le Golf National in Paris.
McIlroy, who had not made a single birdie in Friday morning’s fourballs, recorded four of them in the first eight holes against Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka, including crucially holing from 15 feet for a half on the fifth after Finau had holed his bunker shot.
Koepka’s birdie on the par-five ninth was his first of the day and reduced the deficit to three holes, but Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton were ahead by the same margin in match two and Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari were on course for a third win against Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed.
Casey and Hatton had been eight under par in losing to Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth on day one and continued to make plenty of birdies, Casey conceded one on the first after Rickie Fowler found water off the tee and partner Dustin Johnson did likewise with his third shot.
However, Casey’s four birdies in a row from the third were all genuine and when Hatton carded his first of the day on the eighth, the European pair moved three up.
Fleetwood and Molinari were quickly two up on Woods and Reed in a repeat of their fourball contest on Friday, but Woods reduced the deficit with the Americans first birdie of the day on the seventh after Reed had driven out of bounds.
The only match in which Europe were not ahead was the final contest between Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm and Spieth and Thomas, Poulter’s birdie on the seventh keeping it all square after Spieth’s superb approach to tap-in range.