Tiger Woods has played an unusually busy schedule for him of late, but he'll get a bit of a break on Friday afternoon at the 2018 Ryder Cup. After playing in the morning four-ball session with Patrick Reed, Woods will sit out the event's first foursomes session.
Considering all the golf Woods has played recently — and the fact he wasn't particularly sharp in his morning match — captain Jim Furyk's decision didn't come as a shock. More surprising, though, is that the 28-year-old Reed, who has been America's best player the past two Ryder Cups, will also sit out Friday's afternoon session. Although, that move doesn't look as surprising with Reed and Woods being the lone U.S. duo to lose in the opening set of matches (Pairings were announced before that result became final).
In their place, Phil Mickelson and Ryder Cup rookie Bryson DeChambeau will see their first action at Le Golf National. So will Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, who will take on a struggling Rory McIlroy and longtime European spark plug Ian Poulter.
In the opening match, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler, fresh off their decisive morning victory, will play Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. Rose and Stenson have been Europe's top tandem the past two Ryder Cups, but they were split up in four-ball in favor of Rose playing with Jon Rahm on Friday morning, a move that resulted in a loss to Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau. Despite the come-from-behind win by those two, they will join Woods and Reed on the sidelines in the afternoon.
The U.S. leads 3-1, but foursomes hasn't been a particularly strong format for the Americans. Here's a look at the Friday afternoon Ryder Cup pairings:
Match 1: Stenson/Rose vs Johnson/Fowler
Match 2: McIlroy/Poulter vs Watson/Simpson
Match 3: Garcia/Noren vs Mickelson/DeChambeau
Match 4: Molinari/Fleetwood vs Thomas/Spieth