Thursday Practice Pairings at The Ryder Cup
With Thursday offering Team Europe captain Darren Clarke one final chance to have a look at his potential pairings, the Northern Irishman has changed his policy of the first two days which saw him send out two rookies with two veterans, and decided to deploy some of his most high profile players in the opening two groups.
First off at 09:30 from the first tee at Hazeltine National Golf Club will be Open Champion Henrik Stenson, Olympic gold medallist Justin Rose, FedEx Cup winner Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan in an exciting looking fourball.
Many pundits are expecting to see the successful pairing of Stenson and Rose reprised at some point this week, with the duo having impressed at Gleneagles in the 2014 Ryder Cup, where they won all three of the matches they contested together.
For McIlroy and Sullivan meanwhile, it will be the second time the friends have been put out together by Captain Clarke this week, with a potential pairing in the offing for the two bubbly Europeans, after their duel in the final round of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai last year.
Next off on Thursday practice day at 09:45 will be Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood and Masters champion Danny Willett, in another group which features potential hallmarks of two Friday morning European foursomes pairings.
It will be the first time this week Garcia and Kaymer have teed it up alongside one another, although with the pair having competed in a combined ten Ryder Cups, including in the last two winning European sides of 2012 and 2014, so the Spaniard and German know each other well.
Westwood and Willett meanwhile are also two good mates who know each other’s games well, with the English duo sharing the same management company and spending a lot of time together.
The final European practice pairing out at roughly 10:00 local time sees four rookies in Chris Wood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Thomas Pieters paired together.
USA Captain Davis Love III has put out Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, J.B Holmes and Ryan Moore first at approximately 11:00 local time, with Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar following in the second group.
Last out for the hosts will be Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka and Brandt Snedeker.