Wednesday Practice Pairings at The Ryder Cup
European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke continued with his tactic of sending out two rookies with two experienced players on Wednesday morning at Hazeltine National Golf Club, as the Northern Irishman continues the process of bedding the six Ryder Cup rookies in his side into the team unit.
For the second day running Rory McIlroy was paired in the fourballs groupings alongside Chris Wood – with Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters also in the first European group to take to the Hazeltine fairways on another overcast day in Minnesota.
Those fans lucky enough to be following that group will be treated to some serious big-hitting, with McIlroy and Pieters, who are sat next to each other in the locker room, consistently featuring among the longest drivers on the European Tour – although Rory is not sure who hits it furthest.
Matt Fitzpatrick and Rafa Cabrera Bello will be able to pick the brains of experienced duo Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson in the second group out teeing off at 10:30 local time.
Clarke is keen to test various potential groupings during practice and has mixed the pairings up from day one considerably, although Fitzpatrick and Stenson have been kept together for the second day running.
The final European fourball off will consist of English trio Justin Rose, Danny Willett and Andy Sullivan, with Spaniard Sergio Garcia the other man in that lively looking group.
It is not just in the practice groupings where Clarke has paired his experienced players with the rookies, with the team room locker seating arrangements following that same narrative.
Rose and Sullivan will be sat next to each other for the week so will have more time to foster a strong bond on the golf course on Wednesday.
Meanwhile American captain Davis Love III has chosen to not mix things up so much, with all three of his pairings for Wednesday featuring three players who played together on Tuesday as well.
The first practice grouping of Rickie Fowler, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka, sees the former three players teeing it up together for the second day running.
Love III has gone with Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar in the second group out again, with Patrick Reed the final man in that high profile fourball.
And the last practice group out on the course on Wednesday will see J.B Holmes, Ryan Moore, Brandt Snedeker and Zach Johnson getting up close and personal, with the former three again having played with each other on Tuesday.