In Brief

Ryder Cup TV and news: Thomas Bjorn, Tiger Woods, celebrity match pairings

Today’s celebrity match features Niall Horan, Brian O’Driscoll, Michael Phelps and Samuel L. Jackson

Bjorn: we don’t fear Team USA

Thomas Bjorn says his European players do not feel threatened by Team USA, despite the Americans fielding one of their strongest Ryder Cup squads of “all time”.

Team Europe captain Bjorn is confident his side can win back the Ryder Cup, which starts on Friday at Le Golf National, near Paris.

The BBC reports that Team USA’s squad will feature six of the past eight major winners, but Bjorn said: “We don’t fear anyone, because we have played against them so many times before individually. 

“These are 24 of the best players in the world, when they go up against each other they are all capable of amazing things. We will go out and do what we can and play our game.

“We know this is one of the strongest American teams of all time and we have to play our best.”

Practice is key

Plays starts on Friday morning, with the fourball matches followed by foursomes in the afternoon. But ahead of the official first day, players will get in plenty of practice at Le Golf National.

Bjorn says the practice days will help him finalise his decisions on his pairings, although he already has a clear idea who he will pick.

He told Sky Sports: “I am pretty set in my mind, to be honest. I think you plan 80% to 85% of what you are going to do - and then you have to look over the next three days at where everybody actually is at, and how they are feeling about themselves. 

“The mood in the camp when they came in on Monday morning was very positive and very keen. You are getting closer and closer to the plan you set in your mind, so I am pretty confident with where I am at the moment, but let’s see how the next few days go.”

Woods win boosts the US

Tiger Woods won his first tournament for five years at last weekend’s Tour Championship, and his victory in Atlanta has given Team USA a boost ahead of the Ryder Cup.

American captain Jim Furyk said: “Not that this event needs more energy, it is probably the biggest, the grandest event in golf, but [Woods’ win] will add excitement I believe.”

Celebs line-up in Paris

A host of stars will play in today’s Ryder Cup Celebrity Match. Starting at 2pm (UK time), the ten-hole scramble will be played over holes one to five and 14 to 18 on The Albatros Course. 

One Direction singer Niall Horan, Irish rugby icon Brian O’Driscoll and Italian football legend Alessandro Del Piero play for Team Europe, while surfer Kelly Slater, Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson and former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice are in the USA team.

Team Europe vs. Team USA celebrity pairings:

  • Match 1: Yannick Noah and Guy Forget vs. John McEnroe and James Blake 
  • Match 2: Luis Figo and Alessandro Del Piero vs. Luke Wilson and Greg Kinnear 
  • Match 3: Dany Boon and Brian O’Driscoll vs. Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson 
  • Match 4: Laura Flessel-Colovic and David Ginola vs. Kelly Slater and Condoleezza Rice 
  • Match 5: Jamie Dornan and Niall Horan vs. Michael Phelps and Nick Jonas
Ryder Cup TV coverage

Sky Sports will broadcast live from Le Golf National with coverage on its dedicated Ryder Cup channel. 

Today on Sky Sports (all times UK)

  • 2pm-5pm: live Ryder Cup Celebrity Match (Sky Sports Ryder Cup and Sky Sports Mix) 
  • 6.30pm-7pm: Ryder Cup Countdown (Sky Sports News, Sky Sports Ryder Cup, Sky Sports Main Event)

Wednesday 26 September

  • 2pm: Ryder Cup On The Range (Sky Sports Ryder Cup and Sky Sports Mix) 
  • 6.30pm-7pm: Ryder Cup Countdown (Sky Sports News, Sky Sports Ryder Cup, Sky Sports Main Event)

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