Golf US heavy favourites as singles begin at Hazeltine

Five points separated the USA from a first Ryder Cup win in four attempts as Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy began the singles at Hazeltine.

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A fast start appeared essential for Europe as the Ryder Cup resumed at Hazeltine on Sunday, with the United States requiring just five points to regain the trophy for the first time since 2008.

Victories in three of Saturday's fourball contests ensured Davis Love III's team held a 9.5 - 6.5 lead ahead of the final day of action, which commenced at 11:04am local time (5:04pm BST) with a much-anticipated clash between Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy.

Both Reed and McIlroy have led from the front for their respective teams this week, while exhibiting plenty of passion, and an eye-catching battle between the two was anticipated.

The second match of 12 would see Jordan Spieth - reportedly nursing finger pain - face off against Open champion Henrik Stenson, with JB Holmes taking on Thomas Pieters in the next game.

Rickie Fowler's clash with Justin Rose also stood out as a notable match-up, while Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia were set to go head-to-head 12 years on from the Spaniard prevailing in their singles match at Oakland Hills.

Although the odds were against Europe, their deficit was smaller than the four-point margin they sensationally overturned on the final day at Medinah in 2012.

After a raucous atmosphere threatened to boil over on Saturday, the PGA of America issued a statement prior to the singles, urging spectators to "support their team in a way that is respectful to those around them, the players, and the Ryder Cup."

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