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European captain Paul McGinley set to split Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell

'Their Ryder record's not as good as people think'

By Robert Jones

For the past two weeks they've been insisting that they're still the best of friends – and that they'd love to play together in the 40th Ryder Cup this weekend.

But now it looks as if Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will not be a pair when one of the world's top sporting events tees off at Gleneagles on Friday.

European team captain Paul McGinley dropped a strong hint yesterday that he could split up the Ulster duo, whose relationship has been strained by McIlroy's ongoing, high-profile court case with his former – and G-Mac's present – management company, Dublin-based Horizon.

McGinley also remarked that the McIlroy-McDowell partnership is not the sure-fire points winner a lot of people seem to think it is.

Indeed, they have notched up only two and a half points out of a possible six in Ryder Cups.

"Both of them have assured me all along that there's no issues and that's the way I've always seen it," said McGinley.

"Whether they come together or not is another story.

"Three or four months ago, I had a very strong view that they would have been – but the more I look at their statistics and the more I look at the different value I have with them, I'm thinking there may be value in not doing it."

McGinley added: "If I don't decide to play them, it would be for tactical reasons.

"They have played six Ryder Cup matches and they have only won two together (losing three and halving one).

"It's not like these guys are written in stone. They are not a formidable fourball pairing that's unbeatable (both wins have come in foursomes)."

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