Saturday, 20 September 2008

Ryder Cup Fourball Pairings Day Two

The pairings for the afternoon's matches are in and there is quite a bit of re-jigging going on with either side. Harrington will be rested, with the two high profile morning spectators drafted in for the starting games by Faldo. Westwood is off in the first with Soren Hansen, taking on the fan's favourites Weekley and Holmes, guaranteed to create a rowdy atmosphere; Azinger obviously impressed by Boo's ability to get the crowd geed up and taking full advantage of it.

A fresh pair of Europeans will be out next, Sergio partnered with Casey, who was lacklustre yesterday is much more suited to the better ball game anyway and should be good for a few birdies. A great pairing to take on Stricker and Curtis who were well beaten by Poulter and Rose yesterday.

Poulter indeed is the only player that Faldo has decided not to rest and in his last two matches his form has justified that decision and his inclusion in the team. He's the form European right now and is joined with McDowell who has performed well in his two games, another solid pair. They will face the American old stagers who are playing well enough for Azinger to ask them to go 36 holes today, Perry and Furyk. That should be a hell of a match.

Finally, after the Irish Pairing and the Spanish Pairing didn't get a lot of joy yesterday, Faldo has turned to a Swedish twosome to see if they can do better. They'll be up against Phil Mickelson and Hunter Mahan who have not been at their best this morning, Mickelson in particular which I will get to in a second. Why Azinger didn't keep faith with Justin Leonard who has been a revelation for the Americans confuses me. Now to round up the rest of the matches, which have been much more cheery for the Europeans this morning...

So the line up is

Weekley/Holmes v Westwood/Hansen (tee-off 5.45pm)
Curtis/Stricker v Garcia/Casey (tee-off 6pm)
Perry/Furyk v Poulter/McDowell (tee-off 6.15pm)
Mickelson/Mahan v Stenson/Karlsson (tee-off 6.30pm)

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