Ryder Cup 2016: Rory McIlroy embraces hostile Hazeltine

The noisy home fans at the Ryder Cup have inadvertently caused Rory McIlroy to lift his game.


Rory McIlroy has challenged the hostile American crowds at Hazeltine to continue providing Europe with motivation when the Ryder Cup concludes on Sunday.

World number three McIlroy, together with rookie Thomas Pieters, defeated Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson 3 and 1 in the first of Saturday's fourballs in Minnesota.

The typically partisan atmosphere threatened to become unpleasant at times on day two, with McIlroy at one point having a spectator ejected by security after being subjected to abusive language.

And the Northern Irishman confirmed the jeers and catcalls of the home fans inspired him to produce his best golf.

"It fuelled me a lot," he told a news conference.

"The more they shouted, the better we played. I hope they shout at us all day tomorrow."

When it was suggested to McIlroy that the mood at Hazeltine could be described as spirited, tough, over the line or ugly, he replied: "Probably a combination of all of those."

"I'd say most of all tough. It's a tough environment for us to come and play in. We expect that. It's same for the US guys when they come to play in Europe. You have to keep your concentration out there. It's been a long day and sometimes emotions run high.

"Again, we're just glad to get it done and move on, help Europe get another point on the board."

McIlroy and Pieters were 4up at the turn, Koepka acknowledging he and Johnson were unable to keep pace.

"They played so well on that front nine," he said.

"They got up so early. They played really well, so it's tough to beat.

"I didn't putt very well today and I know DJ didn't hit it his best. They played really good. Hats off to them. They were impressive to watch. Both of them were in it every hole. They both had looks every hole and that's what you've got to do."


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