Sept. 21-26, 2021 Whistling Straits, Kohler, WI
43rd Ryder Cup - Previews
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Fans may not need to wait until Thursday afternoon to figure out the much anticipated pairings for the opening session of the 43rd Ryder Cup. Instead, a look at the practice and press conference schedules for both the U.S. and European Teams provides a bit of insight into who Captain Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington may pair together come Friday.

Tuesday, Captain Stricker gave the first indication of using a possible pod system, as successfully first implemented by Paul Azinger in the Ryder Cup in 2008. The concept of the pod system groups four players together, who will then interchange pairings within that group throughout the first two days of the Ryder Cup.

43rd Ryder Cup - Previews
KOHLER, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 21: Jordan Spieth of team United States (L) and Justin Thomas of team United States take photos on the third green prior to the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 21, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tuesday, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler were scheduled in the same press conference window. Following their meeting with the media, the foursome also played a practice round together. The reunion of Thomas and Spieth would be a welcome pairing for the U.S. Team as the duo won three of the four sessions in which they played together at Le Golf National in 2018. Thomas and Spieth are scheduled to play a practice round together again on Wednesday.

Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa were also grouped together for a practice round on Tuesday. That same foursome is scheduled to meet with the media on Wednesday. Which of these players could wind up playing together is very much a wildcard as Johnson is the only returning member of this group with Schauffele, Cantlay and Morikawa all making their Ryder Cup debut. However, Schauffele and Cantlay did team up together at the Presidents Cup in 2019 in which the duo played in four matches. Wednesday, Schauffele and Cantlay are also scheduled to play a practice round together alongside Thomas and Spieth.

And in the third practice round on Tuesday, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Daniel Berger and Harris English played together. This same group is scheduled to meet with the media on Thursday. Koepka and Finau teamed up together at Le Golf National in 2018, when they won their opening Four-Ball match 1 up over Justin Rose and Jon Rahm. But Captain Stricker appears to continue exploring possible pairings as Finau and Berger will play a practice round alongside Koepka and Scheffler.

43rd Ryder Cup - Previews
KOHLER, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 21: Brooks Koepka of team United States plays his shot from the eighth tee as members of Team United States look on prior to the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 21, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Captain Harrington followed a similar model in structuring his media schedule by also grouping his players in three groups of four players.

Tuesday, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia were scheduled together. Veterans Westwood and Garcia have made for a formidable pairing for the European Team dating all the way back to The Belfry in 2002. The duo won three of the four matches in which they competed together. Westwood and Garcia reunited again at Oakland Hills in 2004 when they went undefeated. Their possible reunion for the 43rd Ryder Cup would be the first time we see these two play together since Valhalla in 2008.

Wednesday, Ian Poulter, Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood and Bernd Wiesberger are scheduled to meet together with the media. And on Thursday, Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton and Jon Rahm have the final press conference for Team Europe.

But like Captain Stricker, Harrington continues to explore additional possible pairings ahead of Friday. On Wednesday, practice groups were changed up quite a bit compared to Tuesday. Rahm, Garcia, Lowry and Hatton will play in the first practice session for Europe, followed by Casey, Westwood, McIlroy and Poulter. The third practice group for the European Team includes Wiesberger, Hovland, Fleetwood and Fitzpatrick.

More News

Sign Up for our Newsletter
Enter your email address to receive updates on changes in rankings and important announcements.
We appreciate your interest in and excitement for The Ryder Cup. We will be sharing important updates as they become available.
There has been an error in your submission. Please try again.