Tuesday 12 December 2017

McIlroy, McDowell poised to fire opening shots for europe

Karl MacGinty

SPECULATION that Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy would fire the opening shots for Europe at the Ryder Cup intensified after the Irish aces were first out of the gate in practice yesterday.

McDowell and McIlroy (right) teamed up against their World Cup conquerors, Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, taking sweet revenge and a clean sweep of the money from the Italian brothers, to the tune of £50 on the front nine, £50 on the back nine and £50 for the 18.

Captain Colin Montgomerie warned fans not to read too much into yesterday's pairings, insisting the initial practice session had been "relaxed" -- yet several of them looked particularly potent.

Lee Westwood played with Miguel Angel Jimenez in the second match, beating Peter Hanson and PGA champion Martin Kaymer 3&2, while Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington cleaned up against Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher.

On the US side, Corey Pavin sent his men out in groups of four, as Tiger Woods teamed up with Hunter Mahan in a fourball with Steve Stricker -- who won all four matches alongside Woods in the Presidents Cup a year ago -- and Zach Johnson.

Matt Kuchar, Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk and Dustin Johnson played together, with the final fourball containing Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson.

Irish Independent

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