Justin Thomas beat Rory McIlroy on the 18th hole for a 1UP win to set the wheels in motion for a thrilling final day at the Ryder Cup.
USA have never won in Europe when trailing by more than two going into the singles and are winless in 25 years on enemy soil but Thomas gave them every chance win his opening match win.
The contest ebbed and flowed with Thomas winning the first despite his foe being much closer before the Northern Irishman responded with three holes won in a row.
That’s when the putter went cold for Europe’s leader as Thomas battled back.
Neither played could land the knockout blow with the match being marked with a number of missed putts or clutch par saves none better than Thomas’ half on the 12th courteasy of a chip-in.
Both players missed further chances before McIlroy saved par on 17 to send the match down 18 all square.
Thomas produced a flawless drive before calamity found McIlroy. His drive was plugged off the fairway and after he failed to escape from the sand, his third hit the lip of the bunker before rolling over the fairway and into the hazard.
That left Thomas with just a 9-iron into the green. Not only did he find the surface but he knocked it to five feet ending the contest.
Behind the first match, America produced a charge with the likes of Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka looking likely to put more red on the board.