Ryder Cup: Europe and United States Friday foursomes pairings at Whistling Straits

Team Europe will be led by an all-Spanish team of Sergio Garcia & Jon Rahm
Dates for the 43rd Ryder Cup: 24-26 September Location: Whistling Straits (Wisconsin) Coverage: Live text, clips, highlights and audio on BBC Sport's website and app. Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra, and BBC Sounds. Highlights on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer. For more information, click here

After Europe's Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia and Justin Thomas were paired against Jordan Spieth, Padraig Harrington said Friday's Ryder Cup's first match is "big" for both sides.

Garcia has 25 points. This is the same amount as the whole US team. However, Spieth, Thomas won three of their four matches in 2018.

Harrington, Europe's captain, said that "Everybody could predict the first."

"They put their best out they're putting out our best, let's try it."

World number one Rahm stated that being out first for his side was "a great honour", especially since he is playing alongside fellow Spaniard Garcia.

"It shows that the captain believes in me and is willing to partner with me. Rahm, 26, said that we are trying to get it started the right way. He won the US Open in June and claimed his first major.

"There's nothing better than being paired up with a friend.

He said, "The Spanish legacy is deep at the Ryder Cup" and referred to Jose Maria Olazabal and Seve Ballesteros.

The 43rd Ryder Cup will be held at Whistling Straits, on the shores of Lake Michigan. It will open with four foursomes matches (alternate shots), and four fourball matches in Friday's second section. These matches will be announced at the end of foursomes.

Harrington chose to go for experience in the final foursomes match, which saw Rory McIlroy paired with Ian Poulter. They will be facing American rookies Patrick Cantlay, and Xander Schauffele.

Harrington said, "I have 12 players who can play foursomes. There's no one in my team that can't play foursomes."

"Everybody could have played, and it was difficult to have people rest."

According to the Irishman, his goal is to play all 12 of his players on Friday. He said, "Everyone's playing, everyone should play on the first day."

"You have to get them out there, see how they like the atmosphere, and then see how they do."

Poulter is one of Harrington’s captain's picks. He will be playing in his seventh Ryder Cup. McIlroy and Poulter won one of their foursomes matches in 2018 when Europe beat France 17-10 at Le Golf National.

Cantlay won the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship earlier in the month - which also earned his a $15m bonus, as the FedEx Cup Champion - and was named player of year by his fellow pros. Schauffele won in Tokyo the Olympic title in August.

American captain Steve Stricker is using four of six debutants in this opening session. He says he feels great about his pairings.

He said, "Some teams have played together over time, whether it's in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup."

"We are excited about the way these guys play and the order in which they go out. They have it in their hands and are eager to get started.

Open champion Collin Morikawa, another rookie, will be partnering Dustin Johnson, world number two in the fight against England's Paul Casey. He will also face Norwegian Viktor Hovland (24), who is the youngest European player.

Hovland was the only European debutant to play in Friday's first session, with Shane Lowry & Bernd Wiesberger absent.

Brooks Koepka is playing against Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood, a four-time major champion. He said that he finds it "tough and hectic" to play at the Ryder Cup as it takes him out of his routine.

There will be four more foursomes and fourballs matches on Saturday. Sunday will feature 12 singles matches. This gives 28 points.

Europe, the defending champions, needs 14 points to retain their trophy. The USA need 14 to win the gold cup.

While Europe has won nine of the 12 Ryder Cups in the past, they have not won on American soil since 2012's Miracle of Medinah. Six of the seven previous events were won by the home team.