US power into 3-1 Ryder Cup lead

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Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (France) (AFP)

The United States made a strong start to the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on Friday as Jim Furyk's men claimed a 3-1 lead after the opening session despite a defeat for Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed.

The away team are bidding to win the trophy for the first time on European soil since 1993, and made an excellent start.

Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau stunned Jon Rahm and Justin Rose 1-up in the opening match, taking the lead for the first time at the final hole.

Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler then raised hopes of a repeat of the 2016 first-morning whitewash for the holders by swatting aside Rory McIlroy and Thorbjorn Olesen 4 and 2.

But after Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas edged out Tyrrell Hatton and Paul Casey in a thrilling match 1-up, British Open champion Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood produced a late surge to down a misfiring Woods and Reed 3 and 1.

It is the Americans' largest first-session lead in Europe since 1989.