Ryder Cup ‘chemistry’ the key for USA captain Jim Furyk | Golf News

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Tiger Woods paired with Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka leads off with Tony Finau in Friday morning fourballs; Watch from 6:30am on Sky Sports Ryder Cup

Last Updated: 27/09/18 9:06pm

United States captain Jim Furyk believes he has the right “chemistry” in his Ryder Cup pairings for Friday morning’s opening fourballs.

Furyk has opted to play Tiger Woods alongside Patrick Reed – they will take on Europe’s Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood in the fourth match – with Jordan Spieth, who has performed well with Reed in the past, paired with his good friend Justin Thomas against Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton.

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Watch as captains Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn announce the fourballs pairing for the first session of the Ryder Cup

Watch as captains Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn announce the fourballs pairing for the first session of the Ryder Cup

Brooks Koepka and rookie Tony Finau will take on Justin Rose and Jon Rahm in the first match of the day, while Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson team up to tackle Rory McIlroy and Thorbjorn Olesen.

Rahm, Rose lead out Europe

A look at the full line-up for the opening session of the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National.

When asked why he saw Reed as the best fit alongside Woods, who has been a non-playing vice-captain for the USA in team events over the last few years, Furyk replied: “I thought the chemistry. I think the fact that Tiger spent so much time with Jordan and Patrick the last couple years; their knowledge of each other’s games, surely of Tiger knowing Patrick’s game, helped a significant amount.

Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods fist bump as their fourball pairing is announced

Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods fist bump as their fourball pairing is announced

“I think different styles of games, as well. I think, you know, Patrick’s a guy that really enjoys that moment and enjoys that big stage, and Tiger’s the one that brings it. We thought it would be a good pair.

“Tiger and Jordan and Justin and Patrick. There’s a significant number of options. I think we came out of it with two very good pairings. The idea was to double up and try to get two.”

Furyk is also expecting Koepka and Finau to provide plenty of fireworks in the opening match.

Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau were keen to be No 1 for USA

Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau were keen to be No 1 for USA

“I think we love the chemistry there,” he said. “Both guys, really talk about team, really talk about the energy of their partner.

“Both explosive, but they are excited with the opportunity to go No 1 in that first group. They both really jumped on it, saw me out in practice today and made a beeline for me and said they would like that opportunity. I had mentioned it to Brooks early in the day.

“[I am] Excited about it, and yes, there’s a lot of firepower in that group, and we hope it’s a great fourball pairing.”

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Fowler and Johnson will be playing together for the first time and Furyk reckons they will make another good partnership.

“They work together in a lot of different ways,” he said. “Both have that kind of laid-back mannerism that they both like and I think they pair up real well.

“So we’ll see. New pairing for both of them. Something they have been working on a lot in the last month or so. So they are excited about it.”

Phil Mickelson 'is 100 per cent on board'

Phil Mickelson ‘is 100 per cent on board’

Phil Mickelson, who is making his 12th Ryder Cup appearance, will sit out the morning session, but Furyk says the veteran has no problems with that.

“Phil is 100 per cent on board,” he said. “We had a great talk after a range session today, kind of right before lunch. He wants whatever is best for the team. He feels good about his game and I have a lot of confidence in him.”

Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson and Bryson DeChambeau will also have the morning off with the former still suffering a little from a cold.

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Bubba’s going to rest in the morning,” said Furyk. “He’s got a little bit of a cold, as you all know, when he came in here yesterday. Started to feel a little bit better today. Thought it would be great to give him some rest.

“You know, just because a guy is not playing in Friday morning’s match doesn’t mean he won’t play the next three. You never know how things happen through this, and you keep them focused and you keep them on point.

“You love for them to be chomping at the bit, too, because you want to get out there and get their first point.”

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