McIlroy partnered with Poulter

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World number one Rory McIlroy will pair up with Ian Poulter for the second day of play in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles on Saturday.

Poulter played a starring role in Europe’s victory at the previous Ryder Cup, but was far from his best on the opening day of this year’s event.

He and rookie partner Stephen Gallacher suffered a heavy 5&4 loss against US debutants Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed in the fourballs on Friday morning.

European captain Paul McGinley told BBC Sport that playing with the four time major winner would restore Poulter’s confidence.

“I put him back with Rory because he played the senior figure with Stevie Gallacher and obviously it didn’t go well,” McGinley said.

“And Ian Poulter’s heart is that big, as we all know and that was a real body blow for him to lose a match heavily in a Ryder Cup.

“I just want to bring Ian Poulter back up again and put him on the shoulder of the world’s best player, and I know he’ll respond to that.”

Team USA lead Europe 2 ½ to 1 ½ at the end of the morning fourball sessions, but rebounded to win the afternoon foursomes 3 ½ to ½. Europe lead the US 5-3 going into the second day’s play.

McIlroy and Poulter will be the last team to tee-off on Saturday and will face Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler.

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson will play Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar, Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood face Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan, and Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer are up against Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth.

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