Ryder Cup Team Europe pairings prediction

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We predict the partnerships that Clarke could send into battle.

There’s no denying America has the stronger team statistically.

But they’ve been the favourites on paper in the last 10 Ryder Cups and Europe has won eight of them.

Unfortunately for Europe, the gap in strength appears larger than the previous few.

With five rookies in the automatic qualifiers (and it could be half the team if Pieters, Knox or Lowry get a pick) it’s going to give Clarke some tricky decisions.

Does he risk their inexperience and lack of playing time in America early in the match or rely on his experienced players to play all five sessions?

Here is our take...

Fourball

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson

These two major champions combined to devastating effect at Gleneagles to take three points out of three, including an incredible birdie barrage to down Watson and Kuchar in the Saturday fourballs.

Sergio Garcia and Rafael Cabrera-Bello

There’s a history of magnificent Spanish Ryder Cup pairings. Garcia has a fantastic record and is an experienced hand to guide Cabrera-Bello in the more forgiving fourball format.

Danny Willett and Chris Wood

We’ve seen pairs of rookies do well in the fourballs in recent years and the Englishmen should gel nicely. Wood has won three of five fourballs in EurAsia Cup and Seve Trophy.

Foursomes

Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick

Westwood has a great track record with rookies having helped Nicolas Colsaerts and Jamie Donaldson to victories at the last two Ryder Cups. ISM stablemate Fitzpatrick is a natural fit this year.

Justin Rose and Andy Sullivan

If Clarke breaks Rose’s partnership with Stenson then Sullivan is an ideal replacement in the foursomes having won both his matches in the 2011 Walker Cup.

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia

The Northern Irishman has a better record in the foursomes than the fourballs and Garcia won’t be intimidated by playing alternate shots alongside him as they play a lot of golf together.