Four years after winning back the Ryder Cup with Tiger Woods out injured, America's golfers continued to make a good job of handling Europe without his help.
Woods had been left on the sidelines by Davis Love after two opening-day defeats in Chicago - it was the first time he had sat out a session in either the Ryder or Presidents Cup - but Love's side took the morning foursomes 3-1 to open up a healthy 8-4 lead.
Then Woods and Steve Stricker were the only United States pair trailing as the afternoon fourballs took shape on a Medinah course where he won both the 1999 and 2006 USPGA Championships.
They lost the first two holes to Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia, both seeking their first points of the week, and were three down after Donald's birdie at the short eighth.
Ahead of them, however, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson led Justin Rose and Francesco Molinari by three with eight to play and behind them world number one Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter - Europe's best performer so far - were two down to Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson after seven.
In the other game Nicolas Colsaerts, who in two games has already experienced the wonderful highs and awful lows of Ryder Cup competition, and Paul Lawrie were on level terms against Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar as they started for home.