Golf-McIlroy back in European lineup for Ryder Cup fourballs

Sep 24, 2021; Haven, Wisconsin, USA; Team Europe player Rory McIlroy chips onto the 15th green during day one four-ball rounds for the 43rd Ryder Cup golf competition at Whistling Straits. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

KOHLER, Wisconsin (Reuters) - With Europe's chances of a successful Ryder Cup title defence slipping away, captain Padraig Harrington recalled Rory McIlroy into his lineup for fourball matches on Saturday, again partnering the Northern Irishman with fiery Ian Poulter.

Blown out 3-1 in the morning foursomes for the second consecutive day, the Europeans find themselves down 9-3 and in desperate need of some inspiration if they are to cut into the U.S. advantage.

The U.S. need 14-1/2 points to reclaim the Ryder Cup and another dominating effort in the fourball similar to Friday's 3-1 thrashing would leave the Americans on the brink of hoisting the gold trophy for just the second time in the last six competitions.

After losing his two matches on Friday, McIlroy was left out of a Ryder Cup session for the first time in his career and will be keen to make amends with Poulter as they take on the U.S. duo of Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa.

The Spanish pair of world number one Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, who have won two of Europe's three points, go back out to face Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth.

The first match out will have Shane Lowry and Tyrrell Hatton playing Tony Finau and Harris English while Scottie Scheffler and big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau go up against Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Kohler, Wisconsin. Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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