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CHASKA, Minn. — True to its pressure-cooker traditions, the Ryder Cup got closer on Saturday morning as the European team narrowed the gap with the United States to just one point.

Doing so required a big comeback from the Spanish pair of Sergio García and Rafa Cabrera Bello, who reeled in the young American stars Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed on the final holes to earn an unexpected half point in closing out the morning alternate-shot matches.

“Huge,” said Darren Clarke, the European captain. “Those two guys are just bouncing, so pumped up.”

Leading by 5-3 after the opening day’s play on Friday at Hazeltine National Golf Club, the United States leads, 6 1/2 to 5 1/2, heading into the better-ball matches on Saturday afternoon.

After a 4-0 sweep of the opening session on Friday, the Americans have now lost two of the three sessions to the Europeans, who feature six Ryder Cup rookies in their 12-man lineup but have long had a knack for turning inexperience into an asset.

This year so far has been little different, with Cabrera showing great poise in partnership with García, and with Thomas Pieters, the Belgian rookie who once played at the University of Illinois, who has teamed with Rory McIlroy to win two matches. They secured the second on Saturday, defeating Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson, 4 and 2, in a duel full of clutch putting, match-play flourishes and pumped fists.

It was McIlroy’s first victory against Mickelson in the Ryder Cup.

“When I saw the draw last night, I was like, yes, I get to have a go at him again,” McIlroy said. “My record against him in the Ryder Cup isn’t what I would like it to be. So personally I maybe wanted it a little bit more for that reason.”

After the inspired American team of Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka defeated Henrik Stenson and Matthew Fitzpatrick, 3 and 2, it appeared that the Americans might regain even more momentum when Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson cut Justin Rose’s and Chris Wood’s 3-hole lead down to 1 with two holes to play.

But the Americans missed their opportunity with errant tee shots at 17 and 18. Rose and Wood ultimately secured a 1-up victory.

García and Cabrera Bello did not squander their chance.

“It hurt, obviously,” said Davis Love III, the U.S. captain. “It was a half point we would have liked to have had. But Sergio made a bunch of putts coming in. You have to give them credit.”

Although Reed and Spieth were 4-up with six holes to play, the Spaniards stayed upbeat.

“They had an amazing start,” said García, long one of Europe’s Ryder Cup leaders. “We just kept telling each other: ‘Keep at it. Keep at it. And keep putting pressure, and hopefully they’ll slow down eventually.’”

Cabrera had to make a tough birdie putt on 12 just to keep the Europeans from going down five holes, but Reed hit a poor tee shot on the par-3 13th, which helped the Spaniards win their first hole of the day.

They would win the 15th, the 16th and, most dramatically, the 17th as Spieth’s 30-foot putt for birdie stalled on the lip, sending him to his knees with both hands to his head. Cabrera then sank a 12-foot birdie putt off the fringe to make it all-square.

So it remained, and the Ryder Cup remains what it has long been: one of the best, most pressure-packed events in sports.