Ryder Cup 2012: Olazabal mixes Europe pairs for final practice

 

Ryder Cup

  • Venue: Medinah, Chicago
  • Date: 28-30 September

Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live; daily text commentaries on BBC Sport website. Extended highlights daily on BBC Two.

Captain Jose Maria Olazabal mixed up his groups for Europe's final nine-hole practice session on the eve of the Ryder Cup in Chicago.

Rory McIlroy was split up from regular partner Graeme McDowell to join Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer.

McDowell went out with Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Francesco Molinari, as Lee Westwood, Paul Lawrie, Peter Hanson and Nicolas Colsaerts went off first.

The captains will name their foursomes pairs at the Opening Ceremony.

Europe are likely to kick off their defence of the Ryder Cup with the proven pairs of McIlroy and McDowell, and Donald and Garcia, who have won all four of their games together in the alternate-shot format.

European 2012 Ryder Cup team

  • Rory McIlroy (NI) Age: 23 Caps: 1
  • Justin Rose (Eng) Age: 32 Caps: 1
  • Graeme McDowell (NI) Age: 33 Caps: 2
  • Paul Lawrie (Sco) Age: 43 Caps: 1
  • Francesco Molinari (Ita) Age: 29 Caps: 1
  • Luke Donald (Eng) Age: 34 Caps: 3
  • Lee Westwood (Eng) Age: 39 Caps: 7
  • Sergio Garcia (Spa) Age: 32 Caps: 5
  • Peter Hanson (Swe) Age: 34 Caps: 1
  • Martin Kaymer (Ger) Age: 27 Caps: 1
  • Ian Poulter (Eng) Age: 36 Caps 3
  • Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) Age: 29 Caps 0

Close friends Rose and Poulter played together in 2008, winning two of their three games, and practised together the first two days at Medinah.

Westwood, playing in his eighth Ryder Cup, is unbeaten in his last 10 foursomes going back to 1999 and could partner Scot Paul Lawrie, who returns to the cup for the first time since he made his debut in 1999.

That would leave Hanson, Kaymer and Molinari, who are all playing in their second Ryder Cups and first on US soil, and rookie Nicolas Colsaerts to soak up the atmosphere ahead of Friday afternoon's fourballs.

The Europeans will play just the back nine at Medinah's No.3 course on Thursday, after covering the full 18 on Tuesday and the front nine again on Wednesday.

Thursday, 29 September (all times BST)

21:00-22:30 - BBC Radio 5 live preview including opening ceremony

Friday, 28 September

23:59-02:00 - BBC Two & BBC HD channel - Highlights from Day One

Saturday, 29 September

11:00-13:00 - BBC Two & BBC HD channel - Repeat of Day One highlights

23:59-02:00 - BBC Two & BBC HD channel - Highlights from Day Two

Sunday, 30 September

14:00-16:00 - BBC Two & BBC HD channel - Repeat of Day Two highlights

23:00-01:00 - BBC Two & BBC HD channel - Highlights from Day Three

Monday, 1 October

19:00-20:00 - BBC Two & BBC HD channel - Repeat of Day Three highlights