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Golf: Ryder Cup Pairings Announced


The pairings are set for Friday morning's opening matches at the Ryder Cup golf tournament between the United States and Europe at the K-Club in Straffan, Ireland.

World number one Tiger Woods will be the first one on the course for four-ball with partner Jim Furyk, who is ranked third. They will take on Scotland's Colin Montgomerie and Ireland's Padraig Harrington.

In four-ball, each golfer plays his own ball and the best score of the partners on each hole is the one that counts. The lowest score on a hole earns the pair one point.

At the last Ryder Cup two years ago in the United States, Montgomerie and Harrington birdied the first hole and never trailed in beating Woods and world number-two Phil Mickelson. Europe went on to its largest victory ever (18.5 to 9.5 points).

This time in opening action, Mickelson is paired with Chris DiMarco. They will face Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland and Lee Westwood of England.

The other Ryder Cup pairings for the first of two sessions Friday have Americans Stewart Cink and J.J. Henry going against Paul Casey of England and Robert Karlsson of Sweden, and American David Toms partnering with Brett Wetterich against Spain's Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal.

The Ryder Cup takes place over three days, with morning and afternoon pairs play on Friday and Saturday and singles match play on Sunday. One point is earned for each match won and the first team to 14 and one-half points wins the cup. In the event of a tie, the reigning champion Europeans will keep the Ryder Cup.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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