South Africa
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Rahm and Hatton out to keep Ryder Cup for Europe

Rome — Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton will lead off Europe’s bid to retain the Ryder Cup when they take on world No 1 Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns in Friday’s opening foursomes match, after the captains unveiled their morning combinations.

After that match gets things under way at 7.35am (SA time) Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg face Max Homa and Brian Harman in a match containing three rookies, followed by Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka against Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa.

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

Captain Luke Donald has changed Europe’s opening strategy as he bids to extend their 30-year unbeaten home run against the US.

The home side gets to choose whether to start Friday’s first session with four foursomes or four fourballs matches, with the other format following in the afternoon session. Saturday sees 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 round after “a deep dive into statistics of the team”.