This is how the opening foursomes session of the 2012 Ryder Cup lines up (tee times local):
Europe: Rory McIlroy & Graeme McDowell
USA: Jim Furyk & Brandt Snedeker
Europe: Luke Donald & Sergio Garcia
USA: Phil Mickelson & Keegan Bradley
Europe: Lee Westwood & Francesco Molinari
USA: Jason Dufner & Zach Johnson
Europe: Ian Poulter & Justin Rose
USA: Steve Stricker & Tiger Woods
Sitting the session out for Europe will be Nicolas Colsaerts, Peter Hanson, Martin Kaymer and Paul Lawrie, while the spectating Americans will be Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson.
“The toughest decision was not who to send out, but who to sit down,” started Davis Love once the pairs had been announced. “I somehow had to come up with a rational explanation of why they weren’t going to play, but these guys have really pulled together this week. They said they would do anything I asked them, and they came through today when we finally had to make a decision.”
“It’s difficult when you have 12 strong players,” echoed Olazabal. “But you know, it is also fantastic to have that kind of problem.”
There is little surprise about the Friday morning draw, particularly from a European perspective. Captain Jose Maria Olazabal has gone with three proven pairs, with the only unpredictable call being Lee Westwood’s partner. While Paul Lawrie and Peter Hanson must both have tempted their captain in particular, for a format that demands consistency, Italy’s Francesco Molinari is nothing if not steady.
“Francesco is a steady player and he rarely misses a shot,” said Olazabal. “He’s straight off the tee and he hits good iron shots and that is pretty much what you look for when you are playing foursomes. You have to have guys who are consistent.”
Article courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, the official car of the 2012 Ryder Cup