Wednesday, 22 September 1999
Mark James and his US counterpart Ben Crenshaw will announce their pairings for the opening foursomes in the 33rd Ryder Cup Matches at 2pm on Friday but James looks to have at least three of his pairings already clear in his mind.

For the second day running Open champion Paul Lawrie partnered European Tour Number One Colin Montgomerie and they are expected to form one partnership in the opening foursomes. Garcia and Parnevik went out together again and the Olazábal and Jiménez pairing is another likely starter. And to a man they are raring to go.

Lawrie said: "I can't wait until Friday. I think it will be the toughest experience of my career and everything will be shaking except the clubhead. But we're ready to go."

The third Scot in the team - Andrew Coltart - played with Darren Clarke today and is another who can't wait for the action to begin. Coltart said: "Everybody will feel under pressure but when it is something you have dreamed about all your life and something you have worked hard to get into, once here you have got to try and enjoy it. Sure I'm going to be nervous but when you try to follow your dreams you've got to enjoy it."

European Captain Mark James is more than happy with the way his team is shaping up with the whole team relaxed and enjoying the whole experience. "They're playing surprisingly well, I must admit," he said. "I'm happy with their form.

"We have seven Ryder Cup rookies but they probably have 60 years of European Tour experience behind them. It's a fairly easy thing to captain this team. They're a good bunch of lads. They're willing to do anything for the team."

Crenshaw admitted to having a headache as to who to leave out. Likewise James will have to leave four players out of the opening series but hopes they will all get a game before the singles.

"I've got players playing pretty well who may get left out," said James. "That's a shame but it has to be done. They're aware of the need for the team to accumulate the most points possible."

Harrington and Van de Velde look likely to sit out the Friday morning foursomes but both still have a role to play for the good of the team.

Harrington said: "I think we realise that whether we play five or just once everybody plays an essential part. The fact that somebody's in good spirits even if they're not playing may boost the guys who are playing. It's going to be a team effort and regardless of how many times you play you still have to support the team and be there for the team."

Van de Velde added: "You're here for the team, for Europe to help the others in all the ways you can. It's not a matter of playing five times or three times or one time. Your contribution to the team can be as important even if you're not playing."

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