Which players are likely to be paired up Friday morning when Ryder Cup competition begins with foursomes (alternate shot) matches at Medinah Country Club?

5. Phil Mickelson-Keegan Bradley (U.S.) » They were grouped together in Tuesday's practice round and have a well-documented mentor-mentee relationship. Mickelson likes playing with youngsters, an example being Anthony Kim at Valhalla in 2008.

4. Webb Simpson-Bubba Watson (U.S.) » After winning major championships this year, they have to be in the lineup. In the Presidents Cup in November, they won three of four matches as the first duo out for the Americans.

3. Ian Poulter-Justin Rose (Europe) » Captain Jose Maria Olazabal prefers to keep players from the same country together. Translation: These two Brits, who are fast friends and won 2? of a possible three points at Valhalla in 2008, will be back together. Poulter is 8-3 in Ryder Cup competition.

2. Tiger Woods-Steve Stricker (U.S.) » This should be the U.S. power duo, especially in Chicago. Woods won the last two PGA Championships at Medinah and five Western Opens nearby. Illinois-alum Stricker grew up in Edgerton, Wis., just north of Chicago and is revered there.

1. Rory McIlroy-Graeme McDowell (Europe) » They're pals from Northern Ireland who have U.S. Open titles on their resume and complementary skills. McIlroy is a brilliant high-ball-hitting impresario, and McDowell is the consummate grinder and short-game wizard.

- Kevin Dunleavy