McIlroy was hurting after losing his fourballs match in the first round at Le Golf National on Friday.
He went out alongside Henrik Stenson to atone for his early defeat after lunch in the foursomes.
And the Northern Irishman did just that, beating Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson alongside Ian Poulter.
But the biggest moment of the day fell to McIlroy midway through that second round.
Rory McIlroy found himself in a tricky position on the par four 13th, with Europe only two shots up.
His ball had nestled on the verge of the water and he was forced to loom over it on the downhill bank to chip it onto the green.
The shot looked impossible yet McIlroy achieved a stunning chip to reach the green.
Fans around the 13th hole went understandably delirious at the effort.
Poulter holed the 13th from McIlroy’s shot to secure par and put Europe three up.
And the hosts never looked back, winning the 16th hole to see out the match and earn a crucial Ryder Cup win.
After the day’s play, McIlroy said: “I think a big thing for us this week is resilience and persistence.
“You have to persist until it turns around for you. This morning wasn’t ideal but it was still a better start than Hazeltine.”