Ryder Cup Pairings

Jake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016

The Ryder Cup starts tomorrow at Gleneagles and we’re taking a look at who captain Paul McGinley might pick for his pairings and what his selections will mean for the competition.

McGinley sent out three groups of four during Wednesday’s practice which gives us an idea of who might be matched up tomorrow.

The European team started off with Rory McIlroy, Victor Dubuisson, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell. McGinley has already suggested that he may split up the Northern Irish partnership of McIlroy and McDowell despite their previous success in other competitions. This makes sense as looking at the pair’s Ryder Cup record together they have only managed two wins in six Ryder Cup matches.

McDowell has himself admitted that McIlroy now plays a far superior game and McGinley might do well to split the pair in the fourballs. It has been emphasised, however, that this has nothing to do with the ongoing legal battle between the players’ management, despite speculation otherwise.

The next European group in practice was made up of Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson.

English duo Poulter and Rose won both of their foursomes during the “Miracle in Medinah in 2012,” and two out of three games at Valhalla six years ago so  McGinley could be tempted to pair the two together again.

Despite speculation of a possible pairing with McIlroy, Spain’s Sergio Garcia has commented that he can see himself paired with anyone at Gleneagles, revealing, “We all get along great. We love each other and we enjoy each other’s company. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rookie or a veteran. I see a lot of depth on this team, which is very nice.”

The final foursome out for Europe on Wednesday was made up of Thomas Bjorn, Lee Westwood, Stephen Gallacher and Jamie Donaldson.

McGinley commented, “We’re pretty much on target with the skeleton plan. The interaction from the players has been great. The caddies have given me a lot of information and are very much on side.”

The Ryder Cup opens on Friday morning from 07.35 with four fourballs. The afternoon session will comprise of the foursomes.

Predicted Pairings:

Fourball Europe: Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy

Fourball Europe: Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood

Fourball Europe: Henrik Stenson and Jamie Donaldson

Fourball Europe: Justin Rose and Victor Dubuisson

Foursomes Europe: Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy

Foursomes Europe: Ian Poulter and Justin Rose

Foursomes Europe: Thomas Bjorn and Victor Dubuisson

Foursomes Europe: Stephen Gallacher and Jamie Donaldson