At a Glance: Match 1

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A look at Friday's opening foursomes match

U.S. analysis: Kim, a Ryder Cup rookie, wanted to play with Mickelson. Mickelson wanted to play with Kim. So Paul Azinger obliged both requests, using the Americans' most potentially dynamic pairing to kick things off. Neither player is particularly accurate off the tee -- Kim ranks 157th on the PGA TOUR; Mickelson 182nd -- but that's where the course setup with the generous landing areas will play into their favor. Both are aggressive players and should be able to feed off each other. Mickelson said he feels comfortable in alternate shot with "somebody that plays a similar game that I do." Kim fits that bill.

Europe analysis: Harrington has won the last two majors, and Karlsson comes off a win at last week's Mercedes-Benz Championship on the European tour. Although Karlsson didn't play foursomes in his previous Ryder Cup appearance two years ago, he requested to play with Harrington. The two even practiced in foursomes Thursday and "took the money," according to Karlsson. Added Harrington: "We are comfortable with each other and we know each other's games."

Notes: Kim will be Mickelson's 10th different partner in Ryder Cup competition ... Harrington is 2-1 vs. Mickelson in twosomes.

Outlook: Although Kim is making his first Ryder Cup appearance, he's got the kind of steely nerves and confidence needed to go out in the first match. Mickelson can feed off that youthful exuberance. But Harrington is one tough cookie, which is why European Captain Nick Faldo put him in the first twosome. And don't underestimate Karlsson -- he had a stretch earlier this year in which he finished in the top 10 in eight of nine starts on the European tour.

Prediction: Mickelson-Kim win 1-up.

• OTHER MATCHES: Match 2 | Match 3 | Match 4

Player Foursome record Ryder Cup record
Phil Mickelson 2-3-3 9-12-4
Anthony Kim rookie rookie
Player Foursome record Ryder Cup record
Padraig Harrington 2-3-2 7-8-2
Robert Karlsson 0-0-0 0-1-2