Golf: Love dismisses McIlroy-Woods match-up deal

USA skipper Davis Love has dismissed any notion of a backroom deal with his European counterpart to arrange for a Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy marquee singles matchup at the Ryder Cup.

"I definitely don't want to be the first one to cross over into their room and start rigging pairings, so I would say no," Love said today.

"I'm sure it's not in the captains' agreement that we don't do that, but I'm sure it's against the spirit of it."

European captain Jose Maria Olazabal said he knows people are clamouring to see 14-time major winner Woods go head-to-head with the world number one McIlroy on Sunday but he has to think about the rest of the team as well.

"Sunday will be what it will be," Olazabal said. "We will wait and see what happens and first of all how the matches develop the next few days ... I know (everyone) is eager to see that match but I think the Ryder Cup is more important than that single match."

The Americans spent Tuesday night going to a steak restaurant where they watched a short video put together by Love to try to rally the troops.

The players were back on the course on Wednesday morning for another practice round, teeing off in three groups of four each.

Jason Dufner, Phil Mickelson Keegan Bradley and Zach Johnson comprised the first group.

The second group included Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk and Webb Simpson.

Woods played in the third group with Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson.

But Love said it hasn't been all about golf in the lead up to the 39th Ryder Cup, which begins on Friday at the Medinah Country Club. The USA team is staying loose by going to concerts, dinners and playing some spirited games of table tennis in the team's lounge.

"We want them to enjoy the experience and not put too much pressure on themselves," Love said.

"We have unbelievably fast thoroughbreds here and if you don't ever let them out of the pasture to kick their heels up and eat some grass and keep them in the stall and make them run hard all the time, they are never going to run. So we are letting them be themselves."

Love said he hasn't even thought about who the Europeans are going to pair up because he has enough to worry about on the US side.

"I didn't go to bed until 2.30 already thinking about my team; and if I had to think about their team I wouldn't get any sleep."

- AFP

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