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Big guns set to start Ryder Cup clash

Published 21/09/2006

For the second match running the Ryder Cup will kick off tomorrow with the clash everybody wanted to see.

At 8am on the first tee of the K Club the first-ever staging of the contest in Ireland will start with Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk against Colin Montgomerie and local hero Padraig Harrington.

The second game of the opening fourballs session is the one that produces the biggest surprise of the two line-ups.

New World Match Play champion Paul Casey is partnered not by Luke Donald or David Howell - ninth and 13th in the world and therefore two of Woosnam's top four players - but by uncapped Swede Robert Karlsson. Donald and Howell are left out completely.

They play wild card Stewart Cink and one of the their four rookies, JJ Henry, followed by Spaniards Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal against David Toms and Brett Wetterich, another of the little-known Americans.

Finally - and no surprise in this at all - it is Mickelson and Chris DiMarco against Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke, remarkably part of the action less than six weeks after his wife Heather lost her battle with cancer.

Both captains have stated it is their intention that everybody plays at least once before Sunday's singles.

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