Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy will play together in Wednesday's Ryder Cup practice
Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy will play together in Wednesday’s practice as European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley continues to keep media and fans guessing.
On Monday, the he appeared to pour cold water on the prospect of a renewed Northern Irish partnership.
They played in separate groups on Tuesday and McDowell suggested in his subsequent press conference that he’d prefer to partner someone else.
That said, most of his comments were directed at fourball golf, and the 2010 US Open Champion did say he’d enjoy teaming up with the world number one in the foursomes.
“I think tactically, Rory and my golf dynamic has changed significantly from the first time we ever played together, when perhaps there was the older brother-younger brother leadership role. That’s changed,” said McDowell.
“He would now be the leader of the two of us and perhaps that dynamic doesn’t work as well as it did in the past.
“Perhaps I am the kind of guy that needs that leadership role, or at least to feel on a level with the guy I am playing with.”
The pair have an indifferent Ryder Cup record – 2.5 points from 6 matches – and McDowell admitted he struggled in the fourball format at Medinah.
“I found the better ball format very difficult. Rory likes to go first, I let him at it, and then I go second,” added McDowell.
“He hits it 350 yards down the middle and I put my tee down thinking there’s not a lot of point me hitting this tee shot. It didn’t help my game much playing better ball with him.”
However, McDowell still thinks the pair have a future together in foursomes.
“I think we can still play foursomes pretty well together. I love playing off his tee shot, as anyone would. Some 350 yards down the middle, that works.”
It’s clearly an option McGinley is contemplating, as his Wednesday practice groups would suggest.
The Ulstermen will play with Martin Kaymer and Victor Dubuisson, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose are in the second group and Thomas Bjorn, Lee Westwood, Stephen Gallacher and Jamie Donaldson are out third.
US groups are as follows:
– Zach Johnson, Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson
– Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Jimmy Walker
– Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth