Golf – The 2020 Ryder Cup – Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S. – September 23, 2021 Crew Europe captain Padraig Harrington and Crew USA captain Steve Stricker shake fingers as host Rob Riggle appears on through the opening ceremony REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
September 24, 2021
By Steve Keating
KOHLER, Wisconsin (Reuters) -World primary Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia have been chosen on Thursday to spearhead Europe’s Ryder Cup defence with captain Padraig Harrington sending out the Spanish duo within the opening foursomes to face Individuals Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.
In a transparent indication Europe will attempt to seize the early momentum, Harrington turned to 2 of his large weapons in U.S. Open champion Rahm and Garcia, the report Ryder Cup factors scorer, to play world quantity six Thomas and a resurgent Spieth, who’s as soon as once more exhibiting the shape that gained him three main titles.
“The workforce that goes on the market and will get a lead will say, momentum is every thing, and the workforce that doesn’t should discover one other manner,” stated Harrington. “So in an ideal world, you want to go on the market and win the session, win it properly and lead from the entrance and maintain going.”
Friday’s matches on the Whistling Straits course in Wisconsin will mark the tip of an extended watch for the forty third Ryder Cup, which has been delayed a yr by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second match out will pit the U.S. partnership of former world primary Dustin Johnson and British Open champion Collin Morikawa in opposition to Briton Paul Casey and Norwegian Ryder Cup debutant Viktor Hovland.
The British pairing of Lee Westwood, taking part in in a record- equalling eleventh Ryder Cup, and Matt Fitzpatrick will tackle big-hitting American Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger.
The final match of the primary session might be probably the most explosive with the fiery pairing of Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy and the “Postman” Ian Poulter taking over two American younger weapons, Olympic gold medallist Xander Schauffele and the in-form Patrick Cantlay, coming off a win on the Tour championship.
“It’s nearly been a decade that Poults and I’ve been taking part in on this factor, all the best way again to 2012,” stated McIlroy. “We’ve put factors on the board for Europe which is actually essential however we’ve additionally had numerous enjoyable doing it.
“So we’re going to go on the market this week and revel in ourselves and play our absolute hearts out.”
Harrington stated he had considered placing Rahm and Garcia collectively for a while and it was one thing the 2 Spaniards wished.
The duo have been nearly immediately dubbed the brand new “Spanish Armada” following on within the Ryder Cup from the legendary pairing of former greats Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal.
“It’s a giant honour,” stated Rahm. “It means the captain has religion in me and who I’m partnered with.
“Spanish legacy is deep in The Ryder Cup and I’m hoping we will begin a brand new custom.”
Whereas Rahm and Garcia are a brand new partnership, U.S. captain Steve Stricker caught with some pairings which have had success prior to now.
Spieth and Thomas performed collectively on the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris and went 3-1, whereas Cantlay and Schauffele have been teammed collectively on the 2019 Presidents Cup and had a 2-2 report.
“I really feel nice about our pairings,” stated Stricker. “Some groups which have performed collectively over time, whether or not in Ryder Cups or some Presidents Cups, so we wouldn’t put them on the market if we didn’t be ok with them, let me simply put it that manner.”
(Reporting by Steve Keating, Modifying by Ed Osmond and Richard Pullin)