Rory McIlroy to Matthew Fitzpatrick: "Sorry I couldn't be more help"

Matthew Fitzpatrick revealed Rory McIlroy was cracking all the jokes after the Englishman played like a man possessed on the opening day of the Ryder Cup.

Rory McIlroy to Matthew Fitzpatrick: "Sorry I couldn't be more he
Rory McIlroy to Matthew Fitzpatrick: "Sorry I couldn't be more he

Rory McIlroy says he joked to Matthew Fitzpatrick 'at least he contributed twice' after the Englishman stunned Ryder Cup viewers on Friday. 

Fitzpatrick had a miserable 0-5-0 record in the contest after two Cup appearances but he finally got a point for Europe alongside McIlroy. 

McIlroy, 34, already played in the anchor match in the morning session with England's Tommy Fleetwood. 

They defeated Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay 2&1 in an enthralling encounter to make it 4-0 Europe after the first session. 

Fresh-legged Fitzpatrick told reporters after Europe opened up a five-point lead in Rome on Friday evening that McIlroy told him at one stage: "Sorry I couldn't be more help." 

"He just stood there laughing," he said. 

Rory McIlroy to Matthew Fitzpatrick:

Fitzpatrick birdied five holes in a row from the second. "I just had goosebumps," he said. "It was probably the best warm up I've ever had since the U.S. Open." 

"You know, for the first nine holes I was trying to hang on to this man's coattails," a delighted McIlroy said. "I said to him walking up 10, 'At least I contributed twice.'" 

He added:

"And then the boys [the U.S. team] made a few birdies, you know, on the back nine there and we had to just sort of hang in and hit some good, solid shots down the stretch.
"But yeah, I mean, just a great day in front of some amazing home fans, and I said to Fitzy there, you know, for his first point for Europe, I'm happy that I was the one o get it with him. Proud of how him how I played, and we just have to go out and regroup for tomorrow."

Elsewhere Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton fought back to claim half a point against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. 

Hovland drained a gutsy putt at the last. 

In the second match Jon Rahm played the final two holes like a man possessed against Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka. 

Rahm was paired with rookie Nicolai Hojgaard and the Spaniard finished with two eagles to claw back half a point for Europe. 

And Robert MacIntyre and Justin Rose also shared a point with Wyndham Clark and Max Homa. 

It meant that Europe had a 6.5 - 1.5 lead, their biggest ever since 2004. 

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