Furyk explains Team USA pairings for opening Ryder Cup fourballs
The time for talking is done, Jim Furyk has made his first selections as United States Ryder Cup captain and we now know the line-ups for Friday's morning fourball matches.
There were plenty of intriguing pairings, with Patrick Reed – so often Team USA's cheerleader – partnering the rejuvenated Tiger Woods, while close friends Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas team up.
Furyk hardly shocked the world with his decisions, but here is what the skipper had to say on each of his choices ahead of the first day of play at Le Golf National.
Brooks Koepka/Tony Finau
vs. Justin Rose/Jon Rahm
What Furyk said: "I think we love the chemistry there. Both guys really talk about team, really talk about the energy of their partner. Both are explosive, as you mentioned, without a doubt, but they are excited with the opportunity to go number one in that first group. They both really jumped on it, saw me out in practice today and made a beeline for me and said they would like that opportunity. I had mentioned it to Brooks early in the day."
Dustin Johnson/Rickie Fowler
vs. Rory McIlroy/Thorbjorn Olesen
What Furyk said: "I mentioned [the pairing] to the two of those folks weeks and weeks and weeks ago, had them talk about it, think about it. Golf balls, mannerisms, what they like in their partner, personalities. Again, they work together in a lot of different ways. Both have that kind of laid-back mannerism that they both like and I think they pair up real well."
Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas
vs. Paul Casey/Tyrrell Hatton
What Furyk said: "I think the closeness and the number of rounds that they have played together is surely going to help. I think there's some other signs between their two games, different styles of games, different ball flights. There's a lot of reasons why I think they match up, but surely the fact that they are good friends, and they have that relationship and bond and have played a lot of golf together is always key."
Tiger Woods/Patrick Reed
vs. Francesco Molinari/Tommy Fleetwood
What Furyk said: "I think the fact that Tiger spent so much time with Jordan and Patrick the last couple years; their knowledge of each other's games, surely of Tiger knowing Patrick's game, helped a significant amount. Patrick's a guy that really enjoys that moment and enjoys that big stage, and Tiger's the one that brings it. We thought it would be a good pair."
Team USA members not playing: Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson
What Furyk said: "The hard part is, you know, calling guys and telling them they are not captain's picks, and a hard part is telling guys, 'we're going to rest you tomorrow morning'. We have 12 players, as Europe does, and only eight can play. You'll see on both sides, guys really want to be a part of that team atmosphere and will do whatever it takes."