CHASKA, Minn. -- Darren Clarke is remaining true to his word, perhaps at the expense of putting out his best lineup Saturday.
With the unveiling of Clarke’s Saturday lineup, everyone on Team Europe will have played by Sunday singles. But in adding Ryder Cup rookies Chris Wood and Matthew Fitzpatrick to Saturday’s foursomes pairings, Clarke is splitting up the imposing Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson duo that dominated Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed during Friday's afternoon four-ball competition.
Clarke leads off the morning alternate-shot competition with the Rory McIlroy-Thomas Pieters duo that succeeded during the Friday four-ball.
“It best fit to get them back out on that first tee in the morning,” Clarke said of leading off with that duo against Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson, who were reunited despite Mickelson’s shaky start Friday.
Notably absent for Europe is stalwart Lee Westwood, who took himself out of the afternoon play, telling Clarke that he preferred “to hit more balls” and prepare for a possible Saturday afternoon slot in the four-ball.
U.S. captain Davis Love III sounded pleased to have a wealth of riches from which to field his Saturday morning lineup, benching Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar in favor of the Mickelson-Fowler team that won its Friday foursomes match.
Love places the dominating team of Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka out against Henrik Stenson and Matthew Fitzpatrick while wheeling out two more successful duos during Friday’s foursomes: Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed and Jimmy Walker-Zach Johnson.
The forecast Saturday is for mostly cloudy skies, with a high of 68 degrees and northeast breezes at 6-12 mph.
All times local, CT:
7:35 a.m.: Rickie Fowler/Phil Mickelson (USA) vs. Rory McIlroy/Thomas Pieters (Europe)
7:50 a.m.: Brandt Snedeker/Brooks Koepka (USA) vs. Henrik Stenson/Matt Fitzpatrick (Europe)
8:05 a.m.: Jimmy Walker/Zach Johnson (USA) vs. Justin Rose/Chris Wood (Europe)
8:20 a.m.: Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Sergio Garcia/Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Europe)