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The European Team pose for the official team group photocall for the 35th Ryder Cup Matches at the Oakland Hills Country Club on September 15, 2004 in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
The European Team pose for the official team group photocall for the 35th Ryder Cup Matches at the Oakland Hills Country Club on September 15, 2004 in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Langer's Pairings Starting to Take Shape


September 15, 2004

The second day of practice at The 35th Ryder Cup Matches gave some hint as to who Europe's non playing Captain Bernhard Langer might select for his opening pairings for the Friday morning fourball matches.

Langer raised a few eyebrows on Tuesday when he sent his team out in three balls so that they could focus on playing the course and not worry about the pairings.

However, today three fourballs took to the South Course at Oakland Hills Country Club, near Detriot, and there were not too many surprises.

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke, Englishman Lee Westwood, and Spaniard's Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez were the first out.


Clarke and Westwood have formed an effective partnership in former Ryder Cup Matches while pairing the Spaniards is also an obvious choice. However, Westwood and Garcia played well together in 2002 and that could be an option for Langer.

In the next fourball Englishmen David Howell and Ian Poulter, and Ireland's Paul McGinley and Frenchman Thomas Levet teed off. Quite where Langer will position these four is more difficult to predict although McGinley might slot alongside compatriot Padraig Harrington - with him whom he won the World Cup with in 1997.

Englishmen Paul Casey and Luke Donald, along with Scotland's Colin Montgomerie and Harrington were last out.

Casey and Donald formed an unbeatable partnership during their Walker Cup days and the talk has been of them being reunited in The Ryder Cup although Langer might chose to pair the rookies with his more experienced players.

Donald played with Montgomerie in the first two rounds of the BMW International in Germany two weeks ago and they might well form a strong combination of youth and experience.

But with the groupings expected to change around after nine holes, a whole new selection of prospective pairings may be on show.

As for the American contingent, very little was being given away although Phil Mickelson was the one player not to take part in the morning practice.

Who will partner Tiger Woods has been open to much speculation and he went out with Chris DiMarco as a two-ball.

Stewart Cink, Chris Perry, Chris Riley and David Toms played together in the second group but there were few clues from the last group with five players - Chad Campbell, Jim Furyk, Fred Funk, Jay Haas and Davis Love III - in one group.

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