Ryder Cup 2020: Steve Stricker offers hints on possible USA pairings during Wednesday practice
Team USA are favourites to win the biennial contest in Wisconsin, while Europe look to regain the trophy after their victory at Le Golf National in 2018; Watch live throughout the week on Sky Sports' dedicated Ryder Cup channel
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 22/09/21 4:27pm
USA captain Steve Stricker gave a strong indication of his possible Ryder Cup pairings by keeping several player partners together for the second practice day at Whistling Straits.
Stricker has the job of balancing six Ryder Cup rookies with the six surviving players from USA's 17.5-10.5 loss in the 2018 contest, as the hosts look to regain the trophy on home soil.
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, who won three of their four matches together in Paris, are in the same group for the second day running, while Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele - who joined forces in all four sessions of USA's Presidents Cup win in 2019 and play together on Tuesday - complete that group.
Former world No 1 Dustin Johnson and two-time major winner Collin Morikawa are together again, having also been in the same fourball for the opening practice session, with Brooks Koepka grouped with 2018 playing partner Tony Finau for the second successive round.
Bryson DeChambeau was alongside Scottie Scheffler on Tuesday but is with Harris English, Morikawa and Johnson in Wednesday's line-up, with Scheffler instead joining fellow rookie Daniel Berger, Finau and Koepka.
Speaking about his potential pairings, Stricker said: "I was pretty set in my mind. Always some questions whether it's the right thing or not. I've done a lot of homework, talked to my assistant captains a bunch, talked to the players a bunch.
"Everything looks really good on paper at times, but then you're like, huh, what if something happens kind of thing. You've always got to be prepared for the what-ifs. So that's what we're doing, as well. We've had a pretty good game plan from a while back, and we're putting that in place."
Padraig Harrington's side are expected to play the full 18 holes on Wednesday, having only completed nine holes on the opening practice day, with all 12 players having a completely different group to the previous round.
Rory McIlroy has been grouped with Ryder Cup veterans Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, with rookie Shane Lowry out with world No 1 Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood.
Bernd Wiesberger is in a group with Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey and Matt Fitzpatrick, while the two captains will announced their pairings for Friday's foursomes during the opening ceremony on Thursday.
"Some people play well in practice; some people don't play well in practice," Harrington said. "You can't pick guys after three years and expect the practice rounds to determine what goes on on the Friday. No, I'm not a great believer in judging people off a couple of relaxed days' practice.
"My picks are definitely based on the right partnerships, what we would have had in mind but narrowed down now. As we've got here, narrowed down even further. I wouldn't think a lot is changing in my head and my vice captains' head between now and Friday, no."
Watch the Ryder Cup throughout the week live on Sky Sports' dedicated channel - Sky Sports Ryder Cup. Our daily build-up show 'Live from the Ryder Cup' is live from 2pm on Wednesday and Thursday.