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Europe tweak final practice groups


Rory McIlroy (left) and Graeme McDowell

Rory McIlroy (left) and Graeme McDowell

Rory McIlroy (left) and Graeme McDowell

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell were split up for the final day of Ryder Cup practice at Celtic Manor on Thursday.

McIlroy played with Lee Westwood, Peter Hanson and Miguel Jimenez, while McDowell teed off - from the 11th hole with Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher and Padraig Harrington.

Together for the third day running, however, were Italian World Cup-winning brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari. They played with Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer, who were also partners on Wednesday.

The Americans decided to go off in threes rather than fours, but Tiger Woods remained with Steve Stricker - the player with whom he won four points out of four at last year's Presidents Cup.

Jim Furyk was the other one with them and he was Woods' partner at The K Club in Ireland four years ago.

Phil Mickelson stayed with Dustin Johnson and had 21-year-old Rickie Fowler as the third member, while Hunter Mahan played with Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton and last year's Open champion Stewart Cink was with Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar.

Corey Pavin's side were out off the first tee at 8.30am on a day of much better conditions following Wednesday's heavy rain.

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More rain - and possibly some fog too - is in the forecast for the match, which begins with fourballs at 7.45am on Friday.

Who plays whom in that will be revealed in Thursday afternoon's opening ceremony, starting at 4pm.

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