Graeme McDowell looks on as Rory McIlroy birdies the 17th to beat Hunter Mahan and Zach JohnsonGraeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy responded to Monty’s hair-dryer treatment by clobbering the US with a sensational McAttack.

Urged by their skipper to hit the Yanks hard, “G-Mac” and “Wee Mac” backed each other up brilliantly to grab their first Ryder Cup win and to set up a heart-thumping singles showdown as Europe stormed from two behind to three points in front at Celtic Manor.

The Ulster pair stomped US tough guys Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson 3 and 1 in the foursomes as Padraig Harrington did his bit by helping a sensational Ross Fisher take down FedEx Cup winner Jim Furyk and big-hitting Dustin Johnson 2 and 1 in the fourballs.

Ecstatic to answer his skipper’s “rude” call for more passion, McDowell said: “Monty has been as fired up as anyone on this team this week. 

“He’s been desperate to get us charged up going to that first tee.”

Europe surged ahead in all six games overnight after Montgomerie gave his troops a roasting late on Saturday afternoon.

The Scot turned the air as blue as the scoreboard before play began yesterday as he warned his troops that the Americans would come out with all guns blazing.

But McDowell and McIlroy responded brilliantly as they held off a spirited fightback from Johnson and Mahan.

Three down with 10 to play starting the day, Johnson drained a 50 footer at the eighth to cut the gap and remind the Irish pair that they had a battle on their hands.

McDowell said: “You have to expect these guys to hole, but they keep seem to be doing it.  Stewart Cink beat us up with the putter in the first two matches, and it looked like Zach Johnson was trying to do the same.”

The Ulstermen drew energy from the crowd as the European fans taunted the Americans by chanting - “We’ve got GMac you’ve got Big Mac.”

McDowell joked: “I’d certainly rather be GMac than Big Mac.  But I know I could do with losing a little bit of weight.”

The McAttack swung into action big time and they got back to three up with a birdie at the long 11th and kept that lead as McDowell drained a 15 footer at the 15th for a half.

Johnson cut the gap to two down with three to play when he struck a blow by holing a 20-footer at the 16th.

But McDowell responded with a brilliant tee shot to 15 feet at the 17th and McIlroy finished the job by ramming home the birdie putt.

McIlroy said: “To get that first win under my belt in the Ryder Cup is fantastic, and to do it alongside this guy is even more special.

“He’s been great for me this week, and he’s made my life a lot easier. Walking the fairways with him has been great.”

Delighted that they’ve grabbed 1.5 points out of three so far, McDowell knows that life will be tough in the singles without his pal by his side.

GMac said: “It’s been great to play alongside one of my best friends, who I regard as one of the best players I’ve ever seen in the world.

“He’s a very special player and it’s been great to play alongside him. I’m going to miss him tomorrow, but I know he’ll be doing his job and I’ll be doing mine.”

Harrington and Fisher resumed with a one up lead after eight holes against Furyk and Johnson.

But while the Dubliner lost his game, Fisher played like a major winner as he took advantage of Harrington’s green-reading brilliance to close out a sensational victory with three back nine birdies.

After holing a 30 footer at the 17th to win the match, Fisher said: “It was awesome playing with a three-time major champion. Paddy showed his class. I felt so confident knowing that he’s reading my putts.”

Harrington said: “Ross played some fantastic golf.  Quality-wise, he certainly played the best golf anybody has probably ever seen in a Ryder Cup.

“He made all the shots, holed all the putts. He really did play awesome.”

Expecting an American backlash today, Harrington warned: “It’s nice to win the points but there’s a lot of work to be done tomorrow and we are going to have to make sure that we are ready for it and focussed. They have another opportunity tomorrow.”