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October 1, 2016

Rory McIlroy

Thomas Pieters

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Q. You made it clear to us on the driving range before teeing up just how much you wanted to win that match. Sum up what it means to do exactly that.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I think personally and for the team, I think that was my fourth time up against Phil in The Ryder Cup and thankfully I was able to get one back on him. He's beaten me three times.

It's huge; to go out and lead Team Europe and get that first point on the board is massive. Darren put a lot of faith in us sending us out first in foursomes. We had not really practiced, had not chosen what golf ball to play, had not chosen what even tee to go off. We flipped for it on the first tee. But it seemed to work out pretty well.

Q. I asked you earlier in the week what the best piece of advice you received was and you said Nicolas Colsaerts said, "Go have fun." How much fun are you having?
THOMAS PIETERS: A lot. I'm enjoying it 100 percent. It's been great playing with Rory. You know, it's a good show for the people. We make a lot of birdies, we hit it long. We just make it exciting.

Q. Would you like to play with this fella again this afternoon?
RORY McILROY: I certainly would. It's working quite well at the minute. I'd love to go out and try to get another point on the board.

Q. Again, winning right here on the 16th green. What has made the two of you such a good pairing?
THOMAS PIETERS: We hit good shots together, and if I hit a bad one, he comes back and has a brilliant one after that. It's been like that for the last few days and it's working.

Q. You know what other people are doing around you at all times; Phil had beaten you three consecutive times in The Ryder Cup. Was there a little bit more meaning to this one for you and how would you describe the way this match went for you?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, definitely. When I saw the draw last night, I was like, yes, I get to have a go at him again, because my record against him in The Ryder Cup isn't what I would like it to be.

But yeah, I mean, so personally, I may be wanted it a little bit more just for that reason but just to go out first and put a point on the board for Team Europe, that's what we wanted to do. We wanted to try and start the session off in the right vein. We've got very similar games and I think that helps.

Q. Fantastic victory, you got off to a great start, 3-up after eight and you had the wobblies a bit on 9 and 10. What was the chat like between you at that point?
RORY McILROY: Just keep going. I think the thing we had to remember at that point was we were still up. We were still in a great position in the match. We knew if we kept playing the way we were, we would have chances. We would have chances to get some more holes back on the board and thankfully that's what we did.

Great to win this point and get a first point on the board for Europe, and hopefully we can go out again this afternoon and do the same thing.

Q. This is your first experience in The Ryder Cup, and there were so many clutch shots out there. Is there one that for you stood out in your mind?

RORY McILROY: No. Him. Even the first putt.

THOMAS PIETERS: The first putt was big just to quiet them a little bit, because they were so loud after he made that putt on 1.

I think the 3-iron, I got all of that. It was a really good shot to get it on the green and 2-putt for a victory.

Q. Helped you achieve more --
RORY McILROY: I think as Thomas said, you just need to try to quiet them as much as possible and we felt like once we got up on the front nine, they weren't as vocal and they weren't as behind the players. That's what you have to do. I think one of the biggest things for us is get off to good starts and don't let them get any momentum.

Q. Important to get blue on the board from the word go?
RORY McILROY: Definitely, you want to set the tone for rest of the team and when they saw us up early, that's exactly what we were trying to do, get up early on them, put blue on the board and luckily Darren had a lot of faith in us to send us out first.

Q. Were you expecting to play foursomes together?
RORY McILROY: I think with the way we sort of -- the chemistry and the way we combined yesterday, it was a good chance. Actually while I was speaking to all you guys in the media last night, my phone was buzzing; Clarkey was trying to call me to see if that's what we both wanted. And of course, who wouldn't want to play with him? He's a young guy but he's so talented and he's got obviously a great future in the game.

Q. How did you decide which tees to go off?
RORY McILROY: Flipped a coin on the first tee. We both played off of evens yesterday in the foursomes, so we were like, what do you want to do. We're like, just flip for it on the first, so worked out pretty well.

Q. Great interaction between you and the crowd all the way around. What is it like to be playing?
RORY McILROY: It's unbelievable. It's great. It's a great atmosphere. It seems like we're playing it in the right spirit. It's really competitive on the golf course but still respectful. So obviously happy with how everything's went and hopefully we can just get ourselves back together and regroup and try to go out and win a point again this afternoon.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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