Looking ahead: Saturday morning foursomes confirmed

9/29/2012 2:14:32 AM
Ian Poulter and Justin Rose  (Getty Images)
Ian Poulter and Justin Rose (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood and Luke Donald will resume the partnership that produced one of the performances of the competition two years ago in Wales as José María Olazábal named his pairings for the Saturday morning Foursomes.

In 2010, the Englishmen combined in fine fashion in the format to inflict a heavy 6&5 upon Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods on what became known as ‘Super Sunday’ at The Celtic Manor Resort, and Olazábal will be hoping for more of the same on Saturday as the compatriots line up in the second match out at 0735 against the form pair of Friday in Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson, who won two points from two on the opening day of The 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club.

The biggest surprise from an American perspective was the omission of Woods for the Saturday morning exchanges, as the 14-time Major Champion misses a session for the first time in his seven Ryder Cup appearances.

The former World Number One lost both of his matches on a dramatic first day in Chicago as the American team led proceedings on Friday evening with a points tally of 5 -3, but Woods had looked resurgent in his second match as Nicolas Colsaerts completed a stunning debut appearance to triumph one up over the US pair with Westwood.

Ian Poulter and Justin Rose will again line-up together in the foursomes just as they did to winning effect on Friday morning, as the fellow countrymen will take on Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson in the opening tie of Saturday from 0720 local time.

The American pair was in imperious form in the afternoon foursomes on day one of the 39th edition of the biennial contest, securing a dominant 5&4 victory over Peter Hanson and Paul Lawrie.

After an astonishing first gambit from European rookie Colsaerts on Friday, the Belgian will form a mouth-watering partnership with Spain’s Sergio Garcia in the third Foursomes group on Saturday morning, as the Continental Europeans go head-to-head with debutant Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson, who earlier on Friday prevailed 3&2 over Francesco Molinari and Westwood.

Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy, who were entrusted with leading Olazábal's side out on Friday morning, will on Saturday play the anchor Foursomes match against the men they defeated in the opening match of this year’s Ryder Cup in Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker as the Northern Irishmen look for a repeat performance of the one up victory that provided Europe with their first point in 2012.

“The first two matches are going to be really tough,” said Captain Olazábal of his selections. “We have Webb and Bubba, and Keegan and Phil in those first two matches.  I've tried to put all the big guns in tomorrow morning. 

“We do have to change the momentum.  We need to have a great day tomorrow, both morning and afternoon sessions.  And that's what we are aiming for.”