The pairings for the Friday morning fourball matches were announced this morning, and two of the three Nike athletes playing in the Ryder Cup are on the list. It’s no surprise that Ryder Cup veterans Tiger Woods and Stewart Cink are leading the charge on Friday morning, with the hope that they can kick off a strong defense of the Cup Team USA took from Europe at Valhalla.
8:00 a.m. — Stewart Cink & Matt Kuchar (USA) vs. Graeme McDowell & Rory McIlroy (Europe)
The duo from Georgia Tech of Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar will have their hands full with the reigning U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell and European young gun Rory McIlroy. In the second match out, Cink and Kuchar will need to try to get an early lead, and especially make sure they don’t get down early, as it will be tough to make up ground against the superstar pairing from Northern Ireland.
8:15 a.m. — Tiger Woods & Steve Stricker (USA) vs. Ian Poulter & Ross Fisher (Europe)
The 7:45 opening match of Mickelson/Johnson vs. Westwood/Kaymer will be the one to watch Friday morning, but this one is second in my opinion. The Woods/Stricker pairing will be comfortable for Tiger, and it will be interesting to see how Poulter partners with Ross Fisher instead of Justin Rose. I think this match will be very close and will come down to a crucial putt on one of the final holes, or perhaps even go extra holes. I think it will be back and forth all the way, and it’s tough to pick a winner in this one.
Francesco Molinari: Not Playing
Francesco is not scheduled to play in the morning matches, but look for him to be paired with his brother Edoardo in the afternoon matches.