Danny Willett left out of opening session in Ryder Cup

Danny Willett has been left out of the morning foursomes by Darren Clarke. Picture: Gettyy Images
Danny Willett has been left out of the morning foursomes by Darren Clarke. Picture: Gettyy Images
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As was the case at Gleneagles two years ago, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson will lead the way for Europe when the 41st Ryder Cup gets underway at Hazeltine.

The pair, who won all three matches for Paul McGinley in Perthshire, have been retained by his successor Darren Clarke for the opening foursomes.

Rose and Stenson hammered Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson 5&4 in the first match in 2014 to set Europe on their way to a third consecutive victory in the transatlantic tussle.

Up against them in the first match out in Minnesota will be another successful pairing from Gleneagles in Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed.

On their debuts in the event, Spieth and Reed beat Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher in the first session on the PGA Centenary Course before going on to take two-and-a-half points from three.

Clarke’s pairings were pretty much as expected, apart from young Belgian Thomas Pieters being picked to join forces with Lee Westwood.

It had been thought that Danny Willett had been earmarked for that role but, after the furore of his brother’s anti-American comments, the Masters champion was left out at the expense of wild-card pick Pieters.

“No,” insisted Clarke when asked if he’d planned to put Willett out in the opening session until the events of the last 24 hours.

“I’ve always had a different pairings in mind and, though I probably shouldn’t tell Davis [Love] this, Danny will be playing tomorrow afternoon. He will also be nice and rested for the singles on Sunday.”

Out in the last of the four matches, Pieters and Westwood, who is making his 10th appearance in the event, are up against US Open champion Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.

Clarke’s other rookie in the first set of matches is Englishman Andy Sullivan, who has been paired with Rory McIlroy, with their opponents being Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler.

The final match sees Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer up against Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson.

Friday foursomes

1.35pm Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson v Jordan Spieth & Patrick Reed

1.50pm Rory McIlroy & Andy Sullivan v Phil Mickelson & Rickie Fowler

2.05pm Sergio Garcia & Martin Kaymer v Jimmy Walker & Zach Johnson

2.20pm Thomas Pieters & Lee Westwood v Dustin Johnson & Matt Kuchar

All times BST