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Valhalla Golf Club
Nick Faldo can go many different ways with his pairings, Graeme McDowell believes. (Franklin/Getty Images)

Rookies are primed for action and ready to go

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First-timers Graeme McDowell and Soren Hansen both expect to see plenty of time on the course at Valhalla. McDowell would love to play with Padraig Harrington, while Hansen says he could fit in with anyone.

PULHEIM, Germany (PA) -- Ryder Cup rookies Graeme McDowell and Soren Hansen believe European Captain Nick Faldo plans to use them during the opening two days of the biennial fixture against the United States.

Both players are convinced they will be not be left on the sidelines until the final-day singles matches in the way that Jean Van de Velde, Jarmo Sandelin and Andrew Coltart were at Brookline in 1999.

"I'm looking forward to being on the tee Friday morning and hopefully putting a peg in the ground," McDowell said at the Mercedes-Benz Championship.

The Northern Irishman is hoping to get the opportunity to partner with Open and PGA champion Padraig Harrington during the four-balls and foursomes that take place on the opening two days.

"I think, probably along with another 10 players, I would love to play with Padraig. He's pretty much the best player in the world at the minute," added McDowell. "And I think if I got a game with Padraig -- or Sergio (Garcia) -- perhaps I could get thrown in a couple more times."

Hansen, who was the defending champion at the Mercedes-Benz Championship, believed his consistency would earn him more than just a singles outing in Kentucky.

"I've played tremendous golf now for nearly two years straight and there has not been a tournament when I have not knocked on the door," said the Dane. "So there is no reason why I shouldn't perform really well next week.

"I think I'm an easy fit as well," he added. "There are a lot of strong guys on the team and I fit in with everybody pretty well, I'm strong enough to partner somebody and give a really good result."

While Hansen thought Faldo would find it "pretty easy" to decide the pairings, McDowell was not so certain.

McDowell spoke with Faldo recently and believes the six-time major champion will be prepared to listen to his players, whether they are triple-major champion Harrington or a rookie like him.

"He (Faldo) said to me on the phone he's wanting input from us," he revealed. "I want to hear if you're playing well -- and if you're not playing well, I want to hear that as well."