ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Britain and Ireland captain Tommy Fleetwood will lead from the front after deciding to join Shane Lowry in the opening fourballs match against Continental Europe’s Alex Noren and Thomas Pieters in the Hero Cup on Friday.
Continental Europe captain Francesco Molinari has split up the different nationalities in his team, deciding against partnering with fellow Italian Guido Migliozzi while Frenchmen Antoine Rozner and Victor Perez are also in different pairings.
There are two all-English pairings for Britain and Ireland: Tyrrell Hatton and Jordan Smith, and Callum Shinkwin and Matt Wallace.
The Hero Cup, a match-play competition being played in Abu Dhabi, is a renewal of The Seve Trophy event that had eight editions from 2000-13 and gives European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald a chance to assess his options ahead of the contest with the United States outside Rome in September.
“This was extremely important to get an event like this back on the schedule to give us an opportunity to get these guys in a team and see how they perform in match play. And this is a great first stepping stone, building blocks, for hopefully getting a very successful Ryder Cup in Rome,” Donald said Thursday. “It’s a great opportunity for me to be around some guys that have a great potential to be in Rome, to get to know them better, and to see how they perform on the golf course. … We don’t play a lot of match play in general, we don’t play a lot of foursomes, so just seeing how they react, testing out some possible partnerships that might stand the test of time and be in Rome.”
There will be 10 foursomes across two sessions on Saturday and 10 singles matches on Sunday.
Fourballs lineup (Britain and Ireland first):
Tommy Fleetwood and Shane Lowry vs. Alex Noren and Thomas Pieters
Tyrrell Hatton and Jordan Smith vs. Antoine Rozner and Thomas Detry
Callum Shinkwin and Matt Wallace vs. Guido Migliozzi and Victor Perez
Ewen Ferguson and Richard Mansell vs. Francesco Molinari and Nicolai Højgaard
Bob MacIntyre and Seamus Power vs. Adrian Meronk and Sepp Straka