Friday morning fourballs

Published:

USA captain Corey Pavin sprung a major surprise with his opening fourballs line-up tomorrow.

Much to the dismay of many fans packed into the opening ceremony gathering, Pavin opted to go with Ryder Cup rookies Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton with his fourth and final pairing.

They'll be pitted against Europe's tried and trusted Ryder Cup duo of Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington.

Pavin defended the decision though, saying: "The two rookies are eager to get out there and play and I think they'll enjoy the atmosphere. There are potentially a lot of birdies out there for these two."

The Celtic Manor tussle will get underway at 7.45am with Lee Wstwood and Martin Kaymer taking on Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.  

European captain Colin Montgomerie clearly has every faith in Westwood, back in action after a lengthy stint on the sidelines with injury, and new US PGA champion Kaymer.

Asked why he picked big-hitting Mickelson and Johnson for his opening pairing, Pavin quipped: "They're good players.!"

Tiger Woods has been kept back to the third match, predictably teaming up with Steve Stricker, and their 8.30am opponents will be English duo Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher.

When Pavin was asked why Woods and Stricker were kept back to third, Pavin - clearly not in a mood to give anything away whatsoever - simply stated: "The first two slots have been filled." 

Poults will relish the chance of tackling Tiger. Monty confirmed: "Ian relishes every prospects he faces."

How and when they'll line-up tomorrow:

7.45am Lee Westwood & Martin Kaymer v Phil Mickelson & Dustin Johnson.

8am Rory McIlroy &  Graeme MacDowell v Stewart Cink & Matt Kuchar.

8.15am Ian Poulter & Ross Fisher v Steve Stricker  & Tiger Woods.

8.30am Luke Donald & Padraig Harrington v Bubba Watson & Jeff Overton.