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McIlroy questions Love tactics

ESPN staff
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Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will be looking to get Europe off to a winning start © Getty Images
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The Ryder Cup gets underway at Medinah Country Club on September 28. ESPN will have extensive coverage of the event - including interactive text commentary, reports and reaction - for all three days.

Rory McIlroy admits he was surprised by the American selections for Friday's foursomes as Europe kick off the defence of their Ryder Cup.

The trusted pairing of world No. 1 McIlroy and fellow Ulsterman Graeme McDowell will kick off proceedings at Medinah, and they will take on Ryder Cup rookie Brandt Snedeker and veteran Jim Furyk.

Snedeker is in red-hot form after scooping the $11.4 million FedEx Cup jackpot, but McIlroy is puzzled by Davis Love III's decision to put a rookie in the opening group.

"To be honest they are not the opponents we were expecting," McIlroy said. "We know that their team is so strong all the way through, but it was a little surprise to see a rookie in their first group.

"It is a great honour to lead Europe out in the Ryder Cup. We are going to go out there and get the blue on the board early."

McDowell, who beat Hunter Mahan to seal victory for Europe at Celtic Manor two years ago, echoed McIlroy's sentiments.

"For me personally it is huge because I was last man out in the last match and I am first out here," he said. "I am very proud to be playing alongside my great friend and the greatest player on the planet.

"The morning session is hugely important and Jose Maria has stressed that. We know they are all important but we really feel that it is very important to make a fast start."

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