Gleneagles, Scotland: Rory McIlroy birdied the eighth and ninth holes to put himself and Ian Poulter 2-up over Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker at the turn in Saturday`s fourth Ryder Cup fourballs match.
World number one McIlroy, coming off major wins at the British Open and PGA Championship, looked to advance Europe`s 5-3 lead on the United States at Gleneagles after day one.
Poulter won the opening hole with a birdie but the Americans squared it on Walker`s birdie at the fifth and Fowler sank a 15-foot birdie to match McIlroy and halve the par-3 sixth.
McIlroy birdied to win the eighth and rolled an eagle bid to two feet at nine for a conceded birdie the US duo could not match.
Fowler and rookie Jimmy Walker are the only tandem to play in the first three sessions for Tom Watson`s US squad.
Fowler, a top-five finisher in all four majors this year, seeks his first Cup victory after a loss and four halves.
McIlroy has taken eight matches to the final hole but won only two of them.