27 September 2012
Let's get it started #RyderCup
First up is the Northern Irish pair of World Number 1 Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, but the opposition throws up an interesting name. Along with Jim Furyk who is making his 8th start, Rory will face the man who beat him to 2012 FedEx Cup for winning the Tour Championship last weekend, Brandt Snedeker.
Second up for the Europeans is their established and successful pairing for Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia against Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley one of the four American rookies. Mickelson is playing in his 9th Ryder Cup but only twice in those previous eight have the USA won.
The third match pits Lee Westwood the European veteran in his 8th Ryder Cup and Italian Franceso Molinari against Jason Dufner, another rookie, and Zach Johnson. Dufner had been leading at the half way stage of The Masters before dropping to a tie for 24th, before going on to win his first PGA tournament in his 164th event. But came 4th in the US Open this year.
The final match sees Tiger Woods and Steve Strickler take on the English pair of Justin Rose and Ian Poulter.
The Europeans can field world number 1 in match 1, 3 (Donald in match 2), 4 (Westwood in match 3) and 5 (Rose in match 4). Although the Americans play the world number 2 in the last match of the morning, there second ranked player the World number 7 Bubba Watson is rested for the first session as is Webb Simpson the World number 8. But as Rory himself said today for this weekend he is not world number one but just one of twelve men in a team, rankings count for nothing.
From 1 PM tomorrow on Radio 5 live I will be listening to my radio. In the meantime in the words of the Black Eye Peas, "Let's Get it Started"