Ryder Cup 2014: Fourballs pairings confirmed as Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy team up to play Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson

Play in the 40th Ryder Cup gets underway tomorrow

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The Independent Online

Rory McIlroy will get the chance to let his golf do the talking against Phil Mickelson on the opening morning of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles on Friday.

LIVE: Follow hole-by-hole action from the Ryder Cup

On Wednesday the American veteran made a joke about McIlroy's court case against the Northern Irishman's former management company Horizon, which has seen team-mate Graeme McDowell dragged into the dispute as he is still represented by them.

"Not only are we able to play together, we also don't litigate against each other and that's a real plus, I feel, heading into this week," Mickelson said.

McIlroy and the rest of the European team laughed off the remarks on Thursday, but things may be more serious when the action finally gets under way.

World number one McIlroy and Spain's Sergio Garcia were kept till last in the opening fourballs by captain Paul McGinley and will take on Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, who won all three of their matches together at Medinah in 2012.

Another pairing from Chicago, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and wild card Webb Simpson, will take on Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson in the opening clash at 7:35am, followed by Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker against Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Medinah hero Martin Kaymer, the US Open champion.

The third match sees Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed take on home favourite Stephen Gallacher - who lives just 35 miles from Gleneagles - and Europe's Ryder Cup talisman Ian Poulter, who has won 11 of his last 12 matches in the biennial contest.

Tee-times and pairings...

0735 Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson v Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson

0750 Thomas Bjorn and Martin Kaymer v Ricky Fowler and Jimmy Walker

0805 Stephen Gallacher and Ian Poulter v Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed

0820 Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy v Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson


McGinley's decision means Graeme McDowell, Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson and wild card Lee Westwood will sit out the opening session, and also that all four European pairs have not played together in the Ryder Cup before.

"We have 12 strong players," McGinley told Sky Sports. "Arguably people will say there is strength at the top and strength at the bottom.

"Stevie is with a guy who will enjoy the atmosphere Stevie will create with a Scottish following. Ian is looking forward to that role.

"I haven't assessed what he (Watson) is doing. I really rate this American team and we will have to be on it if we are going to beat them. We've had continuity all week and we will be ready coming out of the blocks."