The European point: McIlroy/Pieters to beat Fowler/Mickelson at evens

Anyone else surprised to see Phil Mickelson back in foursomes? Where is he going to drive the ball next?

His play off the tee was abysmal yesterday and only a late surge, along with Rickie Fowler’s heroics, helped him deliver a point for the USA.


I think they were a bit fortunate and Rory McIllroy, on the receiving end of that with Andy Sullivan, will be gunning for revenge.

I really liked his partnership with Thomas Pieters in the fourballs. The young Belgian took to the Ryder Cup in fine fashion – particularly the way he recovered after Lee Westwood failed to turn up in the morning.

I think his game complements McIlroy’s beautifully, he came in with a couple of crucial birdies of his own, and I’ll be surprised if lightning strikes twice for the Americans.

The American win: Walker/Johnson to beat Rose/Wood at 11/10

Once Jimmy Walker remembered he had a pulse, his combination with Zach Johnson was pretty promising as they won five holes in a row to sweep past Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer yesterday.


I like this match-up for the pair. Chris Wood sat out the opening day and now he’s got to hope Justin Rose has found the pace of the Hazeltine greens.

The Olympic champion may have holed the winning putt in the fourballs but that was about all he managed following two rounds with Henrik Stenson and he has to do better on the dancefloor.

Wood has been stewing for 24 hours to get into the action – I’m sure that wasn’t the original plan – and Europe can’t afford him to have any nerves. At 11/10, the price on Walker and Johnson seems big enough.

The big price bet: Garcia/Cabrera-Bello at 6/4 against Spieth/Reed

No surprise to see the American duo at odds-on in this battle, despite an impressive start for the new Seve/Olly combination in the fourballs.


Spieth and Reed excelled in the foursomes as they dominated Rose and Stenson but the latter revealed a chink in the armour in the afternoon.

If you let them get on top early, they will dominate.

Stenson, though, resisted and, when he had his own spell of hot form as the round went on, neither one of the USA’s flagship pairing responded well under the pressure.

Reed suddenly found the hole wasn’t the gaping bucket it had been and Spieth started spraying shots all over the course.

If – and it is a big if – Garcia and Cabrera-Bello can strike some early telling blows, the 6/4 we can easily find on them could look a big price.

The game to leave alone: Snedeker/Koepka against Stenson/Fitzpatrick

Do you take the evens on the Americans or the 11/8 on the Europeans? It all looks a bit too close to call for me.

I’d originally thought we’d see Sneds in foursomes yesterday but he showed his adaptability as he proved a big success with big hitting Brooks in the afternoon.


That could be a really effective foursomes combination – Koepka drilling tee shots miles down the fairway and Snedeker doing his work on the greens.

I’m sure Darren Clarke would have liked to have blooded Matt Fitzpatrick earlier but, if he doesn’t get the shakes, I also feel he could be a good foil for Stenson.

It’s a surprise the skipper split up his marquee duo after they demolished Spieth and Reed in the afternoon but, if you had to give him a new partner, then steady Fitzpatrick comes easily to mind.

But this still feels a match to look at in play once we’ve had a couple of holes on the board.