Ryder Cup 2020: Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas ready to set the pace for USA against Europe
Spanish duo Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia to face leading American duo in Friday's opening match; Rory McIlroy looking forward to playing alongside Ian Poulter in anchor match for Europe; watch the opening day's action at the Ryder Cup live on Sky Sports Ryder Cup from 1pm on Friday
Last Updated: 24/09/21 6:27am
Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas are ready to take on the challenge of leading out the United States team against Europe's Spanish duo of Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia in Friday's Ryder Cup foursomes.
Spieth said: "I feel Stricks has instilled a lot of confidence in me and Justin, we weren't sure where he was going to put us until this afternoon and I'm very excited to go out and try to set the pace for the rest of the team."
"Very excited to get going," added Thomas. "The last couple of days, you're ready and excited and everyone is getting everything tuned in. I've only played one but I know it goes by pretty quickly. I'm taking it in for all I can and ready to get going."
Rahm said he is honoured to have been given the chance to go out first alongside his fellow Spaniard.
He said: "It's a big honour. It means the captain has faith in me and who I'm partnered with. We are looking to start it the right way. So nothing to be better than to be paired with my friend over here, even though he's most likely teeing off on one and I'm glad he's doing it. It's a true honour. Spanish legacy is deep in the Ryder Cup and I'm hoping we can start a new tradition.
"It's going to be a good match and it's rightfully the right way to start a Ryder Cup, and we are all excited."
Garcia added: "I'm excited. Jon is not only a good friend but an amazing player and we all know what he can do and what he's done. It's going to be exciting. It's going to be nervy on the first tee but that's what the Ryder Cup is all about. I've been there before, and I'm very, very excited and I hope that we can play great like I know we can and get a point for Europe."
Open champion Collin Morikawa is eagerly looking forward to teaming up with Dustin Johnson for his first Ryder Cup appearance against Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland in the foursomes.
"I can't wait. I'm so excited," said the 24-year-old. "This means everything to everyone and obviously I just want to put a point on the board early on. I can't wait - it's going to be very exciting.
"DJ and I have gotten along really well over the two-and-a-half years of me being a pro. We have spent a lot of time together and so it's a very comfortable pairing and that helps especially in alternate-shot format."
Morikawa is the youngest member of the USA team, while world No 2 Johnson is the oldest at 37.
Johnson said: "We complement each other very well and I think we'll be a strong team. We just have to go out and play our game and play some good golf if we want to win. We're going to have a tough match."
Casey said: "This is like the night before Christmas. The Ryder Cup is so special, to be playing the first session, as well is a great honour. Captain Harrington obviously has faith in my abilities, but also to be playing with Viktor, it shows everybody how good this guy is. Rookies tend not to play sort of first sessions, especially something like foursomes. But I cannot wait to get started with this guy standing next to me."
Hovland added: "It will be obviously interesting to see what they as a team can come up with but I feel pretty confident in our ability to give them a really good match, it will be fun."
Brooks Koepka is looking forward to playing alongside Daniel Berger against English duo Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick.
Koepka said: "I played with Daniel in The Presidents Cup and I love playing with him. I think it will be fun. Hopefully we'll go out and do what we are supposed to do.
Berger added: "We bring a little different game style. I'm a little bit more methodical and he's a little bit more bomb-and-gauge, but I think when you play the two pairings together, I think we play well off each other. In alternate-shot, it's really about how you mesh with your partner. Together we're a good team.
"They are going to be tough and they have got good short games. They are not going to make too many mistakes."
Fitzpatrick said: "You want to play every game, so to get off to a start and play in the morning on Friday is extra special."
And looking ahead to the match, Westwood added: "Obviously two good players, but foursomes is a difficult game. You know, you've got to try and get into it early and I'm sure we can do that. Try and get up early and just keep the pressure on."
Rory McIlroy is looking forward to teaming up with Ian Poulter for Europe in the foursomes in an anchor match which will pit their experience against American rookies Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.
"Really excited," said McIlroy. "It's almost been a decade that Poults and I have been playing in this thing, all the way back to 2012. We've put points on the board for Europe which is really important but we've also had a lot of fun doing it. So we are going to go out there this week and enjoy ourselves and play our absolute hearts out and try to put points on the board for our team.
"Yeah, they are rookies, but they are not rookies. I think they are very experienced players. Patrick has had a hell of a year and Xander is a great player. Probably doesn't quite compare to what a Ryder Cup is, so they will feel a little different on the first tee. They are great players and it's going to be a great match. Poults and I just need to go out there and play our game and if we do that, we'll put some points on the board."
Poulter added: "[Experience] counts a lot. We have played some great golf together through the years and this is going to be another special match. To be here, great course, it's going to be windy. It's going to be a good test, and as you said, it's about putting points on the board. We have done that a lot for Team Europe and we're going to do it again."
Cantlay and Schauffele are a well-touted pairing for the United States, with the former saying: "Xander and I have played together before, and we are looking forward to a great match. Can't wait to get started.
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"It will be fantastic. The Wisconsin fans will be showing up and cheering us on all day. They have been great so far this week and those have just been practice rounds and I'm looking forward to getting after it."
Schauffele added: "I'm excited. Pat and I have played a lot together and we played the Presidents Cup together. Looking forward to playing a strong European team.
"You always want to play against the best. Best way to challenge your game. Pat and I are looking forward to putting a point on the board and going from there."
Who will win the 43rd Ryder Cup? Watch throughout the week live on Sky Sports' dedicated Ryder Cup channel. Live coverage of the Foursomes begins on Friday from 1pm on Sky Sports Ryder Cup.