Thomas Bjorn rings changes as pairings begin to take shape

Jim Furyk kept Tiger, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in same group

 Rory McIlroy and his Team Europe captain Thomas Bjorn during practice at Le Golf National. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy and his Team Europe captain Thomas Bjorn during practice at Le Golf National. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

 

Europe captain Thomas Bjorn rang the changes on the final day of practice ahead of the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National.

And the Dane appeared to offer a hint to potential pairings for Friday’s afternoon foursomes matches as the players took their final look at the course before Thursday’s opening ceremony.

Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Ian Poulter and Thorbjorn Olesen made up the opening group, with Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson in group two.

Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton and Alex Noren were in the final group, Noren having won the French Open at Le Golf National in July.

In contrast, US captain Jim Furyk kept Tiger Woods, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in the same group for the second day running, with a Woods-Reed pairing looking increasingly certain.

Reed and Spieth had formed a superb partnership in 2014 and 2016, but Spieth and Thomas are close friends and it would be no surprise to see them playing together this week.

Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau were in the same group for the third day in succession and were joined by Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson, while the final group contained former partners Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson and Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka.

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