Gleneagles, Scotland: Rory McIlroy put on a magnificent display to crush Rickie Fowler 5 and 4 in the standout attraction of the closing 12 singles matches at the Ryder Cup on Sunday.
The third game out, between the world number one and the American shotmaker, had been bookmarked as being a key tussle as the Americans looked to reel in a 10-6 European lead.
But McIlroy stamped his authority on the showdown from the first hole, a birdie giving him an early lead after Fowler fluffed a chip from edge of green.
Next hole, a struggling Fowler conceded and McIlroy was marked down for an eagle without having to putt.
Birdies at the third, fifth and sixth left McIlroy 5-up after just six holes and a stunned Fowler was already running out of holes.
The American did peg one back at the seventh, but McIlroy, who won back-to-back majors this summer at the British Open and PGA Championship, kept him firmly at arm`s length for the next five holes.
McIlroy then went back to 5-up at with a birdie at 13 and minutes later it was all over at the 14th.
"Ever since I knew that Paul (McGinley) wanted me to play early in the order I was very comfortable with that," he said.
"I was probadly more up for this day than the final two days of the majors I won this year. I started so well and was six under through six holes."
The win was the first singles match to finish and increased the European lead to 11-6, leaving the Europeans needing three more points to be sure of retaining the Cup.