Ryder Cup TV and news: Rory McIlroy, Captain America, today’s practice groups

McIlroy is ready to be a leader while Reed is happy to play the villain

Rory McIlroy Team Europe Ryder Cup
Team Europe golfer Rory McIlroy plays in a practice session at Le Golf National
(Image credit: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

McIlroy ready to lead

Rory McIlroy will take part in his fifth Ryder Cup this weekend and says he’s prepared to play a leading role for Team Europe at Le Golf National.

The 29-year-old Northern Irishman says he’s also happy to play in all five sessions if European captain Thomas Bjorn asks him.

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“Whatever the guys want me to do or whatever Thomas thinks my role should be, that’s what I’m going to play,” said the four-time major winner.

“I’m sure I’ll be one of the leaders, but... you have a lot of great players on the team that have played in a lot of Ryder Cups and will put their hand up to be one of the leaders and to try to lead by example.

“Justin Rose, who was No.1 in the world just a couple weeks ago and now the FedExCup winner, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, they are guys that have played in a lot of Ryder Cups and have had a lot of success individually and in team events.

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“I’m just one of those guys, I’m one of 12, and I’ll do whatever I can to help the team... so that when I tee off on Friday morning, I’m going to be ready to go and... play five if needed.”

McIlroy played in Europe’s 17-11 defeat against the Americans two years ago and admits he’s been looking forward to this year’s Ryder Cup since the loss at Hazeltine.

He said: “I’ve been excited for this... since the last day in Hazeltine whenever we weren’t the ones spraying champagne for a change.

“I really love being a part of the process. The dialogue I’ve had with Thomas over the past few months has been great and seeing the team take shape and everyone that’s played their way on, it’s exciting.”

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Reed: I’m Captain America

Masters champion Patrick Reed is relishing the crowd interaction in France despite being portrayed as the ‘Ryder Cup villain’.

Described as an “alley-cat assassin” by the Daily Express, the 28-year-old was booed at Gleneagles in 2014 when he “wound the home fans up with shushing gestures” during his singles match against Henrik Stenson.

Then two years ago he was involved in a memorable encounter against Rory McIlroy with “finger wagging” and celebrations in his victory.

“This week I’m definitely Captain America,” said Reed. “I’m still trying to come up with something that I get to do and see if I can get booed again.

“I can’t wait to hear all the little cheers and just little quirky things that they can do and say because it’s always fun coming overseas and hearing all the little playful jabs and chants that they have going on.

“They know that line of respect and they always are above that line. They never actually cross it and get disrespectful.”

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Wednesday practice groups

Sky Sports reports that Europe captain Thomas Bjorn has picked Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose in the same group for today’s practice session.

Thorbjorn Olesen is grouped with Paul Casey, Tyrrell Hatton and Henrik Stenson. Ian Poulter, Francesco Molinari, Tommy Fleetwood and Alex Noren make up the final European group.

American skipper Jim Furyk sent out Tiger Woods, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in the opening group today.

The second group featured Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson. And the final group to go out were Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler.

Today’s schedule

Both teams will continue practice today in France and there’s also Golf Sixes and Junior Ryder Cup action taking place.

Today’s Ryder Cup TV coverage

Sky Sports will carry live coverage from Le Golf National in Paris.

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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