Ryder Cup: Unbeaten Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia pair up for practice in Chicago

 

The unbeaten Ryder Cup partnership of Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia was back together for the second day of practice in Chicago today.

And, with Europe playing foursomes rather than fourballs like yesterday, it looks as if the pair might try to make it five wins out of five when the match against the Americans starts on Friday.

Donald and Garcia won twice together on the Englishman's debut in Detroit in 2004 and added two more victories two years later in Ireland.

Donald has a perfect record of six wins out of six in the format, having also partnered Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood when Garcia was only an assistant captain in Wales two years ago.

The Spaniard, meanwhile, is unbeaten in nine foursomes since his first cap as a 19-year-old - he remains the youngest-ever player in the match - in Boston in 1999. Eight of the nine were victories.

On the opening day of practice this week Donald was with Westwood again, but that was a fourball game against Poulter and Justin Rose - and they scored a better-ball 59, 13 under par.

This time Donald and Garcia played alongside Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, a partnership from the 2010 match that looks cast in stone again.

Westwood, meanwhile, switched to playing alongside Scot Paul Lawrie, Italian Francesco Molinari and Belgian debutant Nicolas Colsaerts.

The first game out was Poulter and Rose again with Swede Peter Hanson and German Martin Kaymer.

On his superb foursomes record Garcia, who has also won with Jesper Parnevik and Westwood, joked today: "I think it's quite simple - I just had great partners. They just carried me home.

"I don't know. I've managed to gel nicely with the partners I've had - we've played well together, we've been comfortable together.

"There's no big secret about it. It's being able to play well at the right moments - foursomes is the toughest format we play, so being comfortable with who you're playing I think is key."

American captain Davis Love appears to have a clear idea of his pairings, at least for the start of the match on Friday.

Although the home side's three groups were not the same as in the first practice session, Tiger Woods was with Steve Stricker again, Phil Mickelson with Keegan Bradley, Jim Furyk with Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson with Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar with Dustin Johnson and Jason Dufner with Zach Johnson.

Love's big decision, of course, is which four players to omit from the opening foursomes and whether they all then enter the fray in the afternoon fourballs.

PA

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