The highlight of the Ryder Cup opening ceremony, as always, was the unveiling of the eight partnerships who’ll contest the opening session and, unsurprisingly, some mouthwatering matches are in store.
With European Captain Luke Donald opting to buck tradition and schedule the foursomes session first, potential pairings were harder to predict, but nevertheless, several payers will resume partnerships from previous Ryder and Presidents Cups.
First up, US Captain Zach Johnson has decided to pair world number one Scottie Scheffler and WGC MatchPlay champion Sam Burns and Donald has opted for reigning Masters champion Jon Rahm and two-time Ryder Cupper Tyrrell Hatton. Rahm and Scheffler locked horns in singles competition at Whistling Straits, with the latter coming out on top, but with world numbers one and three kicking things off, we couldn’t ask for a much better opening.
Next up is the surprise pairing of Max Homa and Brian Harman taking on the Scandinavian duo of Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg. Homa was extremely impressive in winning all four of his matches at the 2022 Presidents Cup and his partnership with reigning Open champion Harman wasn’t one that was expected, though Hovland, who caught fire towards the end of the PGA Tour season and Aberg, who is playing in the Ryder Cup less than four months after turning professional, comes as little surprise.
The third match sees Californians Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa square off against Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka. Fowler has returned to form in 2023 after a dip that saw him miss out in Whistling Straits, marking the first time since 2010 that he wasn’t part of a US side. Morikawa went undefeated in 2021, and the two-time major champion’s form has improved over the course of the season. Lowry, who impressed on his Cup debut despite a losing record, will take Rookie Straka under his wing, though the Austrian, a two-time PGA Tour winner himself, is no stranger to high-pressure competition.
Arguably the best match is saved for last with the well-versed Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay partnership set to pit their wits against Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood. Schauffele and Cantlay boast a perfect 5-0-0 record in foursomes play across two Presidents and one Ryder Cup, while McIlroy and Fleetwood will make their first appearance together, but the duo already dubbed ‘Fleetwood Mac’ enjoy a wonderful chemistry and will be looking to successfully anchor a strong opening session for Team Europe.
The opening match gets underway at 06:35 am, with the final foursomes match set to tee off at 07:20 am.
|06:35||Scottie Scheffler & Sam Burns||Jon Rahm & Tyrrell Hatton|
|06:50||Max Homa & Brian Harman||Viktor Hovland & Ludvig Aberg|
|07:05||Rickie Fowler & Collin Morikawa||Shane Lowry & Sepp Straka|
|07:20||Xander Schauffele & Patrick Cantlay||Rory McIlroy & Tommy Fleetwood|