THE 41ST RYDER CUP IS READY TO TEE OFF

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THE GOG BLOG by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory to the Ryder Cup and on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy.

The 41st Ryder Cup is finally ready to tee off starting at 7:35 CST from the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska Minnesota.

On Thursday the opening ceremonies were held and both teams got their final practices in.

The weather was better today and sun was out most of the day, so teams were able to practice without so much cold weather gear on.

The galleries were extremely large and it was a sign of how many people are expected to be in attendance. The Captains Davis Love III of Team USA and Darren Clarke both held their final press conferences after the opening ceremonies.

In what Team USA hopes is not a sign of things to come, the 9-hole matches between former team captains of both sides, was a sweep for the European’s by a score of 8-0.

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Jordan Spieth and caddie Zach Grellar check messages on the putting green.

At the end of the opening ceremonies, both captains revealed the four teams they will send out starting at 7:35 Friday morning in the foursome matches, or alternate shot style matches.

Match 1. USA Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed vs EUROPE Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose.

Match 2. USA Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler vs EUROPE Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan.

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Thomas Pieters of Team Europe and formerly of the University of Illinois, practice putts before the start of the Ryder Cup matches.

Match 3. USA Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson vs EUROPE Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer.

Math 4. USA Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar vs Lee Westwood and Thomas Pieters.

Both captains were non-committal on afternoon pairings, and said they would see how the morning went first, but even Love III didn’t say much on that issue either.

The second match starts at 7:50 Am, Match 3 at 8:05 Am, Match 4 at 8:20 Am. The USA needs 14 1/2 points to take back the cup and Europe needs only 14 points to retain the cup.

Click here to hear Team USA Captain Davis Love III press conference along with a few comments from team Europe Captain Darren Clarke.

Comment for Darren Clarke..”Putting our Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson first is because they are a proven Ryder Cup pairing. Both are string players. I am happy with how the first pairings and matches have come out. I am pleased to have them leading off.”

Weather for Friday, sunny all day and temperature high of 71 degrees.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.