Ryder Cup 2021: Friday Tee Times, TV Schedule, Pairings and Predictions

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 23, 2021

Team USA and Team Europe attend the opening ceremony for the Ryder Cup at the Whistling Straits Golf Course Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, in Sheboygan, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The United States has home-course advantage and a star-studded lineup as it looks to win the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin after losing in blowout fashion in France in 2018 and dropping four of the last five competitions.

Now it has the starting lineups as well.

The Americans and Europeans released the Friday morning pairings and tee times for the opening day of competition, which can be found below (via Sports Illustrated).

Friday Tee Times and Pairings (all times ET)

  • 8:05 a.m.: Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia (Europe) vs. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas (USA)
  • 8:21 a.m.: Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland (Europe) vs. Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa (USA)
  • 8:37 a.m.: Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick (Europe) vs. Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger (USA)
  • 8:53 a.m.: Rory  McIlroy and Ian Poulter (Europe) vs. Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele (USA)

The Friday afternoon pairings will be announced Friday after the captains turn them in and prior to the first tee time of 1:10 p.m. ET.

TV Schedule (all times ET)

  • Friday: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Golf Channel
  • Saturday: 8-9 a.m. Golf Channel, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. NBC
  • Sunday: 12-6 p.m. NBC

Friday Morning Predictions

Rahm and Garcia defeat Spieth and Thomas

While Spieth and Thomas will have plenty of chemistry, few people have played better golf this year than Rahm. The leader of the European team tied for fifth at the Masters, tied for eighth at the PGA Championship, won the U.S. Open, tied for third at the Open Championship and finished in second at the Tour Championship.

Europe may be looking to make a statement right out of the gates by starting with him, and pairing him with a Ryder Cup veteran like Garcia will only help his chances.

Spieth and Thomas figure to be key pieces for the Americans throughout the competition, but going up against Rahm will be too much.

Johnson and Morikawa defeat Casey and Hovland

The Americans will get on the board with Open Championship victor Morikawa leading the way in his first career Ryder Cup. While there will surely be some nerves, he handled them on some of golf's biggest stages this year.

He will also have a veteran in Johnson to help him pick up an early point for their team.

Koepka and Berger defeat Westwood and Fitzpatrick

Koepka's health has been a major storyline coming into this tournament after he withdrew from the third round of the Tour Championship on Sept. 4 with a left wrist injury.

However, United States captain Steve Stricker told reporters, "Again, I am not worried about Brooks. He assures me he's healthy. He assures me that he is 100 percent all-in on this team and whatever he needs to do for this team to become the winner at the end of the week."

A healthy Koepka will help the team by winning one of the first matches and putting the Red, White and Blue ahead 2-1.

McIlroy and Poulter defeat Cantlay and Schauffele

That lead won't last long, as McIlroy remains one of the best players on Tour and Poulter has dominated Ryder Cup play throughout his career.

Look for the competition to be tied heading into the afternoon session.