Tiger Woods will partner Patrick Reed on his Ryder Cup return for the United States on Friday, facing Europe’s Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood in the fourballs.
American Jim Furyk has opted for three-time major champion Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau to kick off proceedings in the opening match at 0610 GMT in France — a mouthwatering encounter against Justin Rose and Jon Rahm.
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European skipper Thomas Bjorn selected just one of his four wildcard picks, Paul Casey, for the first session, with the 41-year-old taking on Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas alongside his fellow Englishman Tyrrell Hatton.
Seasoned Ryder Cup veterans Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson will all sit out on Friday morning.
“They are all difficult to leave out, especially guys that have played in so many,” said Bjorn. “I’m quite sure that you’ll see them on the golf course at some stage before Sunday.”
Rory McIlroy will take Danish rookie Thorbjorn Olesen under his wing in the second match of the day against world number one Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler.
But 14-time major champion Woods will draw much of the attention as he plays his first Ryder Cup since 2012 in the fourth match to hit the Albatros course at 0655 GMT.
The 42-year-old will renew his rivalry with Molinari, after the two faced off in the singles at both the 2010 and 2012 events, before the Italian won the British Open in July while playing alongside Woods, who had led with eight holes to go.
Woods will have ‘Captain America’ Reed for company, and the Masters champion lived up to his moniker by responding to jeers at Thursday’s opening ceremony at Le Golf National by cupping his ear.
“It’s going to be fun for both of us. We’ve been looking forward to teaming up and doing something like this together,” said Woods.
“We finally have our opportunity to go against two great competitors.”
Reed added: “Any time you get to tee it up with ‘Big Cat’, it’s always fun.”
The US are bidding to win the trophy on European soil for the first time since 1993, and have been buoyed by the form of Woods, who claimed his first title in over five years at the Tour Championship last weekend.
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