Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mickelson gets wish, is paired with Kim

When Anthony Kim qualified for the U.S. Ryder Cup team earlier this year, Phil Mickelson quickly called captain Paul Azinger and asked to be paired with the Wachovia Championship winner.

“I said, ‘Way to go out on a limb, Phil. You want Anthony Kim, really?” Azinger cracked after announcing the pairings Wednesday afternoon.

Mickelson got his wish, pairing with Kim to face the powerful European duo of Padraig Harrington and Robert Karlsson in the first match at 8:05 a.m. Friday.

If there was a surprise to the pairings, it was that Azinger elected not to pair Kentuckians Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes in the first match, as he hinted he might.

Instead, Perry will play with Jim Furyk in the final morning match against Europe’s top duo, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood.

“It just made sense to me that it would be a really solid pairing,” Azinger said.

Azinger added that he will play all 12 players on Friday, meaning Boo Weekley, Steve Stricker, Ben Curtis and Holmes will play in the afternoon best-ball matches.

Faldo wouldn’t make the same commitment about playing all of his players on Friday.

“I’m not going to make any promises or assumptions or anything,” Faldo said.

The United States has not led after the morning session since 1991 and has not led at the end of a day since its famous winning comeback on Sunday in 1999.


- 8:05 a.m.: Phil Mickelson-Anthony Kim vs. Padraig Harrington-Robert Karlsson.

- 8:20: Justin Leonard-Hunter Mahan vs. Henrik Stenson-Paul Casey

- 8:35: Stewart Cink-Chad Campbell vs. Justin Rose-Ian Poulter

- 8:50: Kenny Perry-Jim Furyk vs. Lee Westwood-Sergio Garcia