Justin Rose will sit out his first session of the 2018 Ryder Cup as captain Thomas Bjorn continues to mix it up at Le Golf National in Paris, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
Rose looked set for an early point in Friday’s fourballs alongside Jon Rahm before the duo surrendered the 18th hole for a one hole loss against Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau. The FedExCup winner was sent straight back out but with long-time ally Henrik Stenson for company as the duo comfortably saw off Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler.
Now both Rose and Stenson will miss out on Saturday’s fourballs as Europe look to cement their two-point lead.
In the absence of Rose, it will be Rory McIlroy and Spain’s Sergio Garcia to open the day against Koepka and Finau as American captain Jim Furyk opted for the same four partnerships that sent his side into a 3-1 lead.
The other new combination for Europe sees Ian Poulter, successful alongside McIlroy in the afternoon, linking up with fiery Spaniard Rahm.
Bjorn has then given Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton a second chance after the English duo were downed by the Thomas/Spieth. Bjorn will be hoping that the English pair rise to the occasion against Johnson/Fowler.
The eye-catching match comes in the third slot as unbeaten Molinari/Fleetwood take on Woods/Reed, who were rested for Friday’s rout.
Bjorn’s selections come as a surprise as he opts to give Rose, Noren and Stenson a break in the morning when Furyk has opted for his best four combinations. The decision to bench Poulter and Stenson backfired and a similar result tomorrow could allow America some much needed impetus.
Match 1: McIlroy/Garcia vs Koepka/Finau
Match 2: Casey/Hatton vs Johnson/Fowler
Match 3: Molinari/Fleetwood vs Woods/Reed
Match 4: Poulter/Rahm vs Thomas/Spieth