Team USA opened up an early lead at the Ryder Cup on the opening day of competition by dominating the afternoon's fourballs.
Honours were shared at 2-2 during the morning's foursomes at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois, but that quickly changed after the completion of the afternoon session with USA claiming three of the four points available in the fourballs to head into the second day of action with a 5-3 advantage.
Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson gave the Americans the lead in the afternoon when they crushed Paul Lawrie and Peter Hanson 5 and 4, before Phil Mickelson combined with Keegan Bradley to defeat Northern Irishmen Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell 2 and 1 as the hosts began to assert their authority.
It quickly became 5-2 to the USA shortly after as Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer were no match for Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.
The American duo won 3 and 2, before a tight battle in the final fourball of the day.
The European duo of Lee Westwood and Ryder Cup rookie Nicolas Colsaerts appeared to be on their way to victory when they led American veterans Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods by two with just the final three holes to play.
Woods made birdie on the 16th to give the Americans hope, but Colsaerts putted well on the final two holes to salvage what could turn out to be a vital point for Europe.
Earlier, McIlroy and McDowell combined to get Europe off to a good start in the morning foursomes.
The pair had to do it the hard way, however, with the American duo of Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker fighting all of the way.
The match was tied heading to the last, but when Snedeker found the trees with his tee shot, Team Europe only needed a par for victory.
Mickelson and Bradley combined to defeat Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia 4 and 3 to level the scores and when Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson teamed up to beat Italian Francesco Molinari and Westwood 3 and 2, the hosts held a narrow advantage.
The trusty combination of Ian Poulter and Justin Rose narrowly downed the American pairing of Woods and Stricker 2 and 1 to tie up the foursomes, but Team USA produced some scintillating golf during the afternoon to open up a healthy lead on their opponents.
Players will return on Saturday for the morning foursomes, with an afternoon session on the same day to be played out once again in the fourball format.
Then all players will be in action on Sunday for the deciding singles.