DEREK LAWRENSON: Paul Casey joins winning European duo in opening morning of foursomes

DEREK LAWRENSON: Paul Casey will be part of the winning European duo in the opening morning of foursomes… but the United States will take the lead in the afternoon

  • The first foursome combinations have been announced for the Ryder Cup
  • European star Jon Rahm is involved in a blockbuster first game
  • Paul Casey will win their match against the USA with Viktor Hovland
  • But the Americans have a lead after the first four games at Whistling Straits











The first four pairs have been announced and here Sportsmail’s golf correspondent DEREK LAWRENSON gives his predictions:

JUSTIN THOMAS & JORDAN SPIETH (US) v JON RAHM & SERGIO GARCIA (EUR)

How about this for a contest to whet the appetite for the upcoming fireworks display? All-Spanish combos have ignited the spark for Europe in the past and Sergio and Rahm-bo know exactly what is expected of them.

The Spanish couple Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm open up for Europe in the foursome

However, they will have their work in this one.

Thomas and Spieth were the stars of a poor American team last time in Paris, beating Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy in their last foursome outing.

JUDGMENT of Lawrenson: Honors even.

DUSTIN JOHNSON & COLLIN MORIKAWA (USA) v PAUL CASEY & VIKTOR HOVLAND (EUR)

Englishman Casey, such a rock in recent Ryder Cups, gets the golden chalice to herd the brilliant Norwegian debutant Hovland in a couple that has a beautiful sound.

Like their opponents, a mix of one of the best drivers in the game and the best iron player point. However, both former world No 1 Johnson and Open champion Morikawa have been struggling lately.

JUDGMENT from Lawrenson: Europe wins.

Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland get Europe's first full point on the board at Whistling Straits

Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland get Europe’s first full point on the board at Whistling Straits

BROOKS KOEPKA & DANIEL BERGER (US) v LEE WESTWOOD & MATT FITZPATRICK (EUR)

The last time the two Englishmen played in the Ryder Cup, in 2016, they failed to make a point between them in five games.

It won’t be easy for Westwood and Fitzpatrick to break the streak here either.

Berger, a 2017 President Cup star, is arguably the most underrated player on the US team and Koepka just loves the big stage, despite his stupid, lukewarm recent comments about the Ryder Cup to Golf Digest.

JUDGMENT from Lawrenson: America wins.

Brooks Koepka plays alongside Daniel Berger and would be victorious on Friday morning

Brooks Koepka plays alongside Daniel Berger and would be victorious on Friday morning

PATRICK CANTLAY & XANDER SCHAUFFELE (US) v RORY MCILROY & IAN POULTER (EUR)

The outcome of the first set of ties may well come down to this ravishing anchor match.

The two American rookies Cantlay and Schauffele may not make the most noise, but they are the top foursome on the American team.

And now they have a perfect match to prove it, against the two European players who always start with goals from their backs.

This can be difficult for Poults and Rory.

JUDGMENT from Lawrenson: America wins.

Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter are the European players who start with goals on their backs

Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter are the European players who start with goals on their backs

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