McGinley closes in on his opening pairings

Europe's Sergio Garcia (right) listens to captain Paul McGinley
Europe's Sergio Garcia (right) listens to captain Paul McGinley
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European captain Paul McGinley offered further hints about his possible pairings on the second day of official practice ahead of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

After sending his 12-man team out in four groups of three on Tuesday, McGinley reverted to three groups of four yesterday, but with Rory McIlroy once more in the same group as Martin Kaymer and Victor Dubuisson again alongside Graeme McDowell.

It is understood that US Open champion Kaymer is a likely partner for McIlroy in foursomes, while McDowell said on Tuesday he was keen to act as a mentor to rookie Dubuisson after the “dynamic” of his relationship with McIlroy had changed.

Ian Poulter and Justin Rose were also together again in the second group along with Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson, with Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood kept together and joined by Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher.

US captain Tom Watson kept the group of Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler together, Bradley and Mickelson having won all three of their matches together at Medinah.

Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, who also played together at Medinah, were playing alongside Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan, while Jim Furyk, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth made up the final group.

McGinley said his “skeleton plan” for tomorrow’s opening fourballs matches was on target, saying: “We’ll solidify that going into the final practice round tomorrow (Thursday). We’re pretty much on schedule where we need to be.”