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Faldo list reveals practice pairs

37th Ryder Cup - USA v Europe
Venue: Valhalla, Kentucky Date: 19-21 September Coverage: Daily highlights on BBC TV and BBC Sport website, Live on BBC Radio 5 Live and Sky Sports and updates/commentary on Red Button and BBC Sport website

Faldo squirms after 'pairs' sightings

Europe captain Nick Faldo will reveal his Ryder Cup pairings for Friday's foursomes from 2230 BST on Thursday.

On Wednesday he tried to laugh off being seen carrying a list of players' initials but when the pairings went out on Thursday they matched his list.

Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood played with Padraig Harrington and Robert Karlsson, hinting they will pair up.

Henrik Stenson partnered Paul Casey and Miguel Angel Jimenez played with newcomer Graeme McDowell.

In the final group Ian Poulter and Justin Rose were together again, and Oliver Wilson was alongside Soren Hansen.

They were possibly the quartet who would sit out the first session and then come in for the afternoon foursomes.

Faldo's note had paired Garcia with Westwood, and Harrington with Karlsson.

Underneath them were the initials of Rose, Poulter, McDowell and Casey, then on the next line Wilson, Hansen and Jimenez. Stenson's name was missing.

BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts

In another photo, Stenson's initials appeared on its own underneath Harrington and Karlsson, with Casey's initials absent.

When confronted about the issue on Wednesday, Faldo tried to make a joke of it, claiming it was a list of "sandwich requests for the guys".

When pressed further on the issue, he said: "I haven't put numbers next to them yet, have I? We don't know what order they're going out in, so I'm safe.

"And that was on the seventh tee. If the photographer was on the 13th or 14th it all changed, so it's all different now."

But when he was asked about it again, Faldo, who became increasingly irritated during an uncomfortable news conference, finally explained the notes referred to Thursday's practice pairings.

"OK, I've been caught - I learned a lesson," he said. "You now know the pairings and we are going to play foursomes on the front nine."

BBC Radio 5 Live correspondent Iain Carter, who attended the news conference, said it was the first sign of cracks in Faldo's captaincy.

"Faldo struggled to keep his composure after his initial joke that the list was the players' lunch requirements had frankly fallen flat," said Carter.

"His attempts to dissolve the significance of the footage coming to light were far from convincing.

"This, for the first time, is a sign that the Europe captain is feeling the pressure. Will it have an effect on the match? Probably not, but the inevitable critical headlines certainly don't help."

Meanwhile, US captain Paul Azinger says he has already decided who he will send out for Friday morning's foursomes and the afternoon's fourballs.

Since the same three groups were sent out for practice together again on Wednesday, the pairings are starting to emerge.

Kentucky pair Kenny Perry and JB Holmes played with Jim Furyk and Boo Weekley, while Stewart Cink and Steve Stricker took on Ben Curtis and Chad Campbell.

Three-time major winner Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim then teamed up with Hunter Mahan and Justin Leonard.

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see also
Faldo goes for national pairings
17 Sep 08 |  Golf
Poulter welcomes Clarke support
17 Sep 08 |  Golf
Woods rules out Ryder Cup visit
16 Sep 08 |  Golf
Ryder Cup explained
16 Sep 08 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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