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McGinley's pairings become clearer


Rory McIlroy, pictured, looks set to partner Martin Kaymer at Gleneagles

Rory McIlroy, pictured, looks set to partner Martin Kaymer at Gleneagles

Rory McIlroy, pictured, looks set to partner Martin Kaymer at Gleneagles

European captain Paul McGinley looked to have settled on a number of his pairings on the final day of practice for the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles on Thursday.

For the third day in succession, world number one Rory McIlroy was sent out in the same group as Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell was alongside Victor Dubuisson and Ian Poulter and Justin Rose were kept together.

Sergio Garcia was also in McIlroy's group for the second time and looks a likely fourball partner for the Northern Irishman, with Thomas Bjorn making up the quartet.

Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher were also together for the second day running alongside Dubuisson and McDowell, with Henrik Stenson and Jamie Donaldson with Poulter and Rose in the final group.

US captain Tom Watson offered no surprises with his practice line-up by keeping the same three groups as Wednesday, with Phil Mickelson already confirming the worst-kept secret in golf that he would resume his Medinah partnership with Keegan Bradley.

Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson is another pairing forged in the defeat in Chicago two years ago, while Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan, Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk and Patrick Reed and Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler appeared to be the other combinations.

Kaymer refused to confirm if he would play with McIlroy, adding: "If you play with someone in the practice rounds there's a possibility that you might play with them in the foursomes or the fourball.

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"But to be honest I think after the round today we will sit down and make a proper plan what's going to happen Friday morning at least.

"Yeah, today I play with Rory again, but it doesn't mean that I will play with him Friday morning.

"We get along well as people and I think at the end of the day it's very important, especially for the foursomes, because it's such a tough game to play, that you need to get along with the person.

"And it's not a secret that I get along with Rory, but I also get along with Sergio and Henrik and Ian."

Asked if he would have to use McIlroy's Nike ball if they did play foursomes, the US Open champion added: "I don't really care, as long as it's white and not pink.

"I played with Paula Creamer last week at the SAP (sponsors) day and I struggled with that ball. But as long as it's white, I don't care."

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