Golf-American heavy hitters out early in Ryder Cup singles
PARIS - Captain Jim Furyk front-loaded his United States team with his most in-form players as the visitors set their sights on a Sunday singles comeback against Europe on the final day of the Ryder Cup.
With Europe leading 10-6, Furyk could at least draw strength from the knowledge that the same deficit has twice been overturned on Sundays in recent times -- by the U.S. in 1999 and Europe in 2012.
The Americans won the first six singles matches 19 years ago, while Europe took the first five in 2012. On both occasions, a hot start gave the players in the final pairings belief that a comeback was possible.
Furyk is sending out Justin Thomas in the first of the 12 matches.
Thomas, one of the few American bright spots this week, faces Rory McIlroy, who has struggled at times, in what is pretty much a must-win for the Americans.
Double 2018 major champion Brooks Koepka, world number one Dustin Johnson and 14-times major champion Tiger Woods are also out in the top half of the order.
Johnson will face Ian Poulter in a showdown between two men undefeated in Ryder Cup singles.
Woods, unbeaten in singles since losing in his first appearance in 1997, faces Jon Rahm, who was only two when Woods made his debut 21 years ago.
European captain Thomas Bjorn, by contrast, has sprinkled his heavy hitters and experienced veterans throughout the line-up.
His team needs four-and-a-half of the 12 available points to win at home for the sixth consecutive time.
If Europe drops some early points, Francesco Molinari might need to deliver again in the ninth match.
The British Open champion has won all four matches this week, and will face out-of-form Phil Mickelson.
Match-ups for the 12 singles matches between Europe and the United States on the final day of the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on Sunday, (Europe listed first):
12:05 p.m. (1005 GMT) - Rory McIlroy v Justin Thomas
12:17 p.m. (1017 GMT) - Paul Casey v Brooks Koepka
12:29 p.m. (1029 GMT) - Justin Rose v Webb Simpson
12:41 p.m. (1041 GMT) - Jon Rahm v Tiger Woods
12:53 p.m. (1053 GMT) - Tommy Fleetwood v Tony Finau
1:05 p.m. (1105 GMT) - Ian Poulter v Dustin Johnson
1:17 p.m. (1117 GMT) - Thorbjorn Olesen v Jordan Spieth
1:29 p.m. (1129 GMT) - Sergio Garcia v Rickie Fowler
1.41 p.m. (1141 GMT) - Francesco Molinari v Phil Mickelson
1:53 p.m. (1153 GMT) - Tyrrell Hatton v Patrick Reed
2:05 p.m. (1205 GMT) - Henrik Stenson v Bubba Watson
2:17 p.m. (1217 GMT) - Alex Noren v Bryson DeChambeau