Best friends McDowell and McIlroy finally earn Cup win

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell finally got the win their impressive play together has deserved at this week`s Ryder Cup when they beat Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan in their foursomes match on Sunday.

The Northern Irish duo, great friends off the course and comfortable partners on it, had lost one and halved one of their first two matches, both against Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar, but were in dominant form for the third session.

They had won the first hole on Saturday afternoon and were never caught thereafter as they went on to triumph 3&1.

"Out here this is just pure drama, the fans have been fantastic," McDowell said after wrapping up Sunday`s match on the 17th green to put Europe level at 6-6 with four fourball matches still on the course.

"It`s been great to play with one of my best friends, it`s a real honour to play with this man," added this year`s U.S. Open champion.

The European pair were three up after seven holes when, much to their frustration, they were forced to call a halt in the dark of Saturday evening.

The Americans pulled one back on the resumption when Johnson sunk a 35-foot putt but they could make no further inroads over the next six holes. When they did threaten on 15, McDowell drained a long putt for a matching birdie.

On Saturday the Northern Irish duo had looked set to win when they were two up with two to play and then one up and far closer to the pin after their tee shots on 17.


However, Cink sunk a monster putt, McIlroy missed from six feet and, on a high, the Americans also won the 18th to claim an unexpected point after the opening fourballs between the same players had been halved.

That turnaround must have been on the Northern Irishmen`s minds when Johnson holed another long putt on Sunday to win the 16th and cut the lead to two.

This time, though, the Europeans kept their nerve as McDowell put his tee shot on the 17th safely on the green and, with two putts to win the match, McIlroy used just one of them as he sunk a 20-footer for the point.

"We walked off disappointed yesterday as we thought we should have won that game," McDowell said.

"But we went straight out for the next session and got going and we were keen to get back out today and get out fast as we knew the U.S. would be charged up.

"That putt on 15 was a big putt. These guys just keep sinking putts, Stewart Cink beat us up with the putter in the first two matches, but having this guy here (McIlroy) makes my life easy.

"We`ve talking about this for a couple of years, joking about winning a point in the Ryder Cup, so it`s been great, everything we imagined it could be."

McIlroy said: "Coming off the 17th yesterday, I didn`t let myself get disappointed, but we couldn`t get something out of the match on 18.

"Now, to get my first point in the Ryder Cup, and especially alongside this guy, it`s fantastic.

Bureau Report

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