Ian Poulter comment to Rory McIlroy before wonder-shot worked a treat
Rory McIlroy was up against it going into the afternoon foursomes.
The four-time Major winner had imploded on the final day of the PGA Tour Championship, last Sunday, and then hopped on a plane to Paris with the man that beat him, and everyone else - Tiger Woods.
On Friday morning, at Le Golf National, McIlroy and Torbjorn Olesen were smoked 4&2 in the opening fourballs. The rookie got the afternoon off but Team Europe captain Thomas Bjorn found McIlroy for a hug and told him he was going out for battle again.
McIlroy had not found birdie once in 16 holes of his morning session but, on the sixth in his afternoon game against Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson, he sank a putt that started a comeback. McIlroy and playing partner Ian Poulter went from 2 DOWN to 3 UP in the space of six holes and the highlight came on the par-four 13th.
Poulter left him within three feet of the water with a loose tee shot but McIlroy responded with one of the best approaches of the day:
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) September 28, 2018
Poulter returned the favour by dropping a 20-foot birdie putt and the lead was increased. The Americans would not be able to claw it back and lost 4&2 on a day Europe went from 3-1 down to lead 5-3.
Following the round, Poulter was asked a few words about his playing partner. He responded:
"I left Rory a couple of testers today. I left him a couple of like 7-foot, and he managed to roll them in. It was a good match, and to put another point on the board, and the board looking so strong this afternoon, that's key.
"The team have come out this afternoon. They have done what they do best and that's be resilient and it's awesome."
Asked about that shot on 13, soon after, the English star was fulsome in his praise.
"I had full faith in Rors to get it somewhere on the green. I said, '60 foot would be nice'.
"But what a clutch shot to get it to 25, 30 feet and a little bit of a wind assist to hold its line as it was rolling towards the hole, it was nice to see it drop in."
Saturday sees McIlroy paired with Sergio Garcia, while Poulter goes out last in the morning session with Jon Rahm.