Paul McGinley and Tom Watson have announced their pairings for the Friday fourballs as the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles edges ever nearer

Paul McGinley and Tom Watson have announced their Ryder Cup pairings for the Friday fourballs as the 40th contest at Gleneagles edges ever nearer.

Three of Watson’s pairings were expected, but the partnership of rookies Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed was a slight surprise.

McGinley, meanwhile, suprised virtually everyone with some of his selections, with Rory McIlroy/Sergio Garcia the only one that many were expecting.

Ryder Cup pairings – Friday fourballs:

In the first match, Henrik Stenson will partner Justin Rose to take on the US duo of Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson (7.35am), who combined so sucessfully two years ago.

Everyone expected Rose to partner Ian Poulter, given their past record together and the fact they practiced together on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but it wasn’t to be.

In the second match (7.50am), Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer will play against Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker.

Third out at 8.05am are Poulter and home favourite Stephen Gallacher, who take on Spieth and Reed.

Finally, in a blockbuster match, McIlroy and Garcia go up against the unbeaten duo of Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley (8.15am).

For the Europeans, Lee Westwood, Victor Dubuisson, Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson were left out.

On the US side, Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan will sit it out.

Most expect all 24 players to have competed in at least one match before the end of Friday’s play