Ryder Cup: Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick not selected for opening foursomes

Danny Willett
Danny Willett
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Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick have not been selected in the European pairings for the opening foursomes at the Ryder Cup on Friday.

The Sheffield pair will be on watching duty on Friday morning at Hazeltine National in Minnesota after captain Darren Clarke opted to not select them for the opening round.

Clarke denied he had omitted Masters champion Willett due to the fallout of his brother's controversial column in a golf publication earlier this week.

Peter Willett wrote anti-American comments in National Club Golfer magazine which has caused a furore in the US and presented his brother with a potential backlash from the stands this weekend.

But Clarke says that did not come into his thoughts when drawing up his pairings for the foursomes.

"Danny can fit in anywhere," Clarke said.

"When you come to think about it, having guys play five times is tough.

"You have to balance up times when you want them. You want some guys fresh.

"Danny Willett, the Masters champion, he may play four more matches but his last match will be the singles on Sunday when he's going to be fresh."

Masters champion Willett and Fitzpatrick will hope to be selected for the fourballs on Friday afternoon as they mark their Ryder Cup debuts.

Of the six debutants on Clarke's team, he opted to use Andy Sullivan and Thomas Pieters in the foursomes, with Rafa Cabrera Bello and Chris Wood joining Fitzpatrick and Willett on the sidelines.

Worksop's Lee Westwood will look to guide rookie Pieters in the final foursomes against Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.

Starting the 2016 Ryder Cup on Friday at 1.35pm (GMT) will be a tantalising match between Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed taking on Europeans Henrick Stenson and Justin Rose.

Rory McIlroy and Sullivan will face the imposing American team of Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, starting at 1.50pm, while Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer will face Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson at 2.05pm.

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