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  Friday, 27 September, 2002, 06:57 GMT 07:57 UK
Europe surge ahead
Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood celebrate victory and Europe's first point
Garcia and Westwood set the ball rolling for Europe
Europe enjoyed the better of the first morning of the 34th Ryder Cup, taking three wins in the fourballs at The Belfry.

And if Padraig Harrington's putt had not lipped out on the 18th they would have added an improbable half to their haul.

However, captain Sam Torrance was delighted with his team's efforts which saw win after win come in a 15-minute spell.

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"The guys were really up up for it and the way they performed was incredible," he said.

"It's the best start we've made to a Ryder Cup for over 30 years and that really gives us something really positive to build on."

US captain Curtis Strange admitted he was surprised by the European performance.


We've made a wonderful start - what a morning
Europe skipper Sam Torrance

"I put up my best teams and they played very well. A couple of guys didn't play their best," said Strange.

Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood won the first point before the pairings of Thomas Bjorn and Darren Clarke and Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer followed suit.

David Toms and Phil Mickelson ensured the visitors broke their duck, but only after Harrington's near miss.


Clarke/Bjorn v Woods/Azinger
(Europe won 1 up)

Thomas Bjorn sunk a sensational putt on the last to halve the hole and take a narrow win in a magnificent match.

The European pair went round in 62, one better than Tiger Woods and Paul Azinger.

Woods took the match to the last with a birdie on 17 but neither he nor Azinger were able to deny Bjorn the crowning moment.

It was the Dane's seventh birdie and consigned Woods to his seventh defeat in 11 Ryder Cup matches.


Garcia/Westwood v Duval/Love III
(Europe won 4&3)

Lee Westwood holed out from 18 feet on the 15th to win the first point of the day.

Westwood and Sergio Garcia - one of Torrance's surprise pairings - were never down in the match and took control after the turn.

The Englishman and Spaniard had birdies at 12 and 13 before closing out a comfortable win on the 15th.

Garcia, who found water in attempting to drive the 10th, maintained his record of never having lost a Ryder Cup match in fourballs or foursomes with victory.


Montgomerie/Langer v Hoch/Furyk
(Europe won 4&3)

Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer secured victory when Scott Hoch conceded on the 15th for a half.

It was a matter of time as to when Europe's veteran pairing would take the point in a match they always controlled.

Langer and Montgomerie collected four birdies apiece, the German holing out from 20 feet at the par-three 14th to put the Europeans four clear before they sealed victory at the 15th.

Hoch and Jim Furyk in particular, never found their rhythm, with the latter finding water at eighth.


Harrington/Fasth v Mickelson/Toms
(USA won 1 up)

The US pairing of David Toms and Phil Mickelson finally took victory in the final match of the morning at the 18th - having led from the first.

However, they were taken the distance by Padraig Harrington and Niclas Fasth who had been three shots in arrears at the 12th.

Harrington nearly took an improbable half a point but his final putt lipped out.

Toms, the star performer in his first Ryder Cup match, duly sunk a three-foot putt for a hard-fought point - the USA's first of the day.

 WATCH/LISTEN
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BBC Five Live
Highlights from Friday's morning fourballs
 VOTE RESULTS
Who will win the Ryder Cup?

United States
 34.15% 

Europe
 60.97% 

Tie
 4.89% 

28977 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
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Europe 15-12 USA

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