No one’s taking partner Thomas Pieters away from me, says Rory McIlroy


“2012 was a great team and we played our hearts out but this is a different 12 and I am super proud of them”.

Captain Davis Love III popped one bottle midway through the press conference that sailed over a bank of lights and into the crowd of reporters.

“I’ve got a partner beside me for the next 20 years, I’m not letting anyone else have him”, McIlroy said following the 17-11 defeat to the United States on Sunday.

“But from the player standpoint of it, I like playing”.

Half a team of rookies created issues for Clarke when it came to his pairings and McIlroy admitted it placed a greater burden on the more e xperienced players.

The victory was especially sweet for USA captain Davis Love, who was also in charge when Europe came back from 10-6 down to pull off the “Miracle at Medinah” in 2012.

Team-mates, families and friends poured out on to the green to celebrate.

“Our guys handled the pressure”. Europe’s turn now to come up with a response.

And McIlroy said: “First and foremost, we wouldn’t encourage any sort of retaliation”.

And amid the USA team’s nightmare finish at the 2012 Ryder Cup, Mickelson suffered one of the most painful Sunday singles loses ever when Justin Rose made long birdie putts on the final two holes at Medinah to beat him, 1 up. “They holed the putts when they had to, and we lipped out. But that’s happened the other way around for quite some time”.

Moore got his revenge Sunday, rallying from 2-down with three holes to play to pull out the victory over Westwood.

“The United States deserves the victory so congratulations to them”.

Needing five points from the 12 last-day singles matches, the Americans sealed victory over Europe when Ryan Moore beat Lee Westwood in the seventh match of the day.

Sensational shot-making and scoring made for great theatre in front of some 50,000 roaring fans.

The matchup between Patrick Reed and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy lived up to its billing as the two went out strong and were again vocal and passionate, drawing big cheers from the crowd.

“I tried my utmost to do that and I won three points but I wish I could have contributed more”.

Later in the day, Cup veterans Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia waged an epic battle, with 19 birdies between them. McIlroy sank a nerve-jangling four-footer for par to cut the deficit to one-up. He took down J.B. Holmes in the third match, right after Henrik Stenson dismantled Jordan Spieth. At a time when he could have gloated, he actually was reluctant to say much, especially when lobbed a first question “What do you think of Captain Love’s leadership style?” that obviously, and humorously, referred to Mickelson’s assertive public role.

“They handed the course over to the PGA on the Monday but it just seemed like bad tee shots were not getting punished as much as they should have been”.

On No. 8, Rory drained a 60-foot bomb for birdie and was more amped-up than ever, lipping to the crowd, “I can’t hear you!” Reed calmly answered by sinking his own birdie putt, turning and with a smile on his face, wagging his finger at McIlroy.

In a wonderful show of sportsmanship, Reed bumped fists with a smiling McIlroy just off the green before the pair walked off to the ninth tee arm in arm.

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