SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Imagine the scene: Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed lead the U.S. Ryder Cup team off the 1st tee at Le Golf National on Friday in front of the biggest grandstand in the event’s history.
If you read into practice-round pairings enough, that could become a reality. Woods and Reed played in the same group on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, the two played an alternate-shot practice round on the front nine. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas played alternate shot in the same group.
The groups were not playing strict alternate shot — on some holes, all four players teed off, and each spent plenty of time practicing around the greens — but Woods/Reed and Spieth/Thomas played one ball out to completion in the alternate-shot format most holes.
There has been speculation for months as to who Woods would be paired with. He and Phil Mickelson had hinted at a possible pairing, although U.S. captain Jim Furyk did his best to shut down those rumors Wednesday. Woods and Bryson DeChambeau have played a number of practice rounds together throughout the season and have become close.
Instead, Mickelson and DeChambeau appear a likely pairing. Mickelson has been spotted practicing with Bryson’s model of Bridgestone golf ball.
Photo from today of Phil Mickelson using what appears to be Bridgestone Tour B X. Only one player on the team uses that particular model: Bryson DeChambeau. Potential foursomes pairing? pic.twitter.com/7bmaDeNTXy
— Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) September 26, 2018
Thursday’s other practice-round groups were DeChambeau-Mickelson-Dustin Johnson-Rickie Fowler and Tony Finau-Brooks Koepka-Webb Simpson-Bubba Watson. Captain Furyk will clear up any speculation when he announces the pairings Thursday afternoon.