2014 Ryder Cup: Friday Morning Pairings
By Torleif Sorenson on 9/25/14

The opening ceremony of the 2014 Ryder Cup has concluded at Gleneagles in Scotland. More importantly, the four match-ups for the Friday morning four-balls have been announced. We hasten to remind you that during the 1997, 2002, 2006, and 2010 Ryder Cups (all played in Europe), the Europeans have lost only one four-ball session — on Friday morning, October 1. Also during those European "home games," they have outscored the Americans, 22-13.

On Tuesday, September 2, the team rosters for Europe and the United States were finalized; in both articles we have provided you with each player's Ryder Cup record and the number of major championships each has captured.

Friday Morning Fourballs

a.k.a. "best ball"

Match #




7:35 a.m. BST
2:35 a.m. EDT

Bubba Watson
Webb Simpson


Justin Rose
Henrik Stenson

If you wanted this thing to start with fireworks... as you wish. The number 3 and 5 players in the world, Rose (6-3-0 in two Ryder Cups) and Stenson (2-3-2 in two) should theoretically have a decided advantage over 9th-ranked Watson (3-5-0 in two) and the 32nd-ranked Simpson (2-2-0 two years ago), who was one of Tom Watson's three wildcard selections.


7:50 a.m. BST
2:50 a.m. EDT

Rickie Fowler
Jimmy Walker


Thomas Bjørn
Martin Kaymer

At first glance, Fowler (0-1-2 in 2012) and the rookie Walker might appear to be the underdogs here against two-time major champion Kaymer (3-2-1 in 2010 and 2012) and the veteran Bjørn (3-2-1 in 1997 and 2002). But of those four, Fowler clearly was the best in the majors this year, going T-5, T-2, T-2, and T-3. Walker scored three victories earlier this year, notched several top-ten and top-20 finishes, and was 7th in the FedEx Cup standings on the PGA Tour. The fact that Fowler and Walker both asked Watson to be paired together is obviously a vote of confidence.


8:05 a.m. BST
3:05 a.m. EDT

Jordan Spieth
Patrick Reed


Stephen Gallacher
Ian Poulter

The advantage in this match is clearly tilted toward Europe; Gallacher lives not far from Gleneagles, while Poulter has been a high-energy super-hero for Team Europe in the last several Ryder Cups. Watson has decided to take a calculated risk in answering Poulter and Gallacher with two American rookies, Spieth and Reed. Several other writers have suggested that if Spieth and Reed emerge with at least a half-point, it could serve as an enormous boost for Team USA.

Can Spieth and Reed win this match? If this was a Saturday match, this writer would guess "no." But since this is only the third of 28 matches, your humble correspondent says "yes."


8:20 a.m. BST
3:20 a.m. EDT

Keegan Bradley
Phil Mickelson


Sergio García
Rory McIlroy

Not much about this match needs any introduction. But consider that Ian Poulter was asked who the "Ian Poulter of Team USA" is, Poulter answered "Keegan Bradley" without any hesitation.

Said Poulter of Bradley two years ago at Medinah, "It was his first Ryder Cup, and for a day and a half, I think he was fist pumping like I was fist pumping. You saw the adrenaline in his body. He loved playing with Phil, and they were on an incredible run. So, I think, yeah, from that standpoint, it has to be Keegan. He's embraced it. He absolutely loved it."

This match will be must-see television.

Friday weather

In the Auchterarder area, the forecast is for partly sunny skies with temperatures ranging from 12°C (53°F) in the morning to 14°C (57°F) in the afternoon. Temperatures are expected to be the same on Saturday and Sunday under mostly cloudy skies.

Friday television coverage



Great Britain

Sky Sports


Sky Sports

South Africa


United States

Golf Channel

SkyGolf 360 coverage

We will be here every step of the way, with match reports and pairings — regardless of the wreckage to your humble correspondent's circadian rhythm.


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