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Rahm, Hatton set to launch Team Europe’s Ryder Cup defence

Team Europe captain Luke Donald opted to start the first session of the Ryder Cup with a foursomes match. (lukedonald/Instagram pic)

ROME: Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton will tee off Team Europe’s bid to retain the Ryder Cup when they take on world No 1 Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns in tomorrow’s opening foursomes match after the captains unveiled their morning combinations.

After that match gets things underway at 0535 GMT, Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg will face Max Homa and Brian Harman in a match involving three rookies, followed by Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka, who will take on Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa.

The morning line-up will be completed by a European heavyweight pairing of Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood taking on Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.

Captain Luke Donald has changed Team Europe’s opening strategy as he bids to extend their 30-year unbeaten home run against Team US. The home side gets to choose whether to start tomorrow’s first session with four foursomes or four fourballs matches, with the other format following in the afternoon session.

Saturday will see two more sessions of the team matches before Sunday’s 12 singles.

Europe have started with fourballs since 1997 but Donald said he had flipped things around after “a deep dive into statistics of the team”.