– Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas have been one of the most reliable tandems for the United States team in recent Ryder Cups, but they’ll be on the sideline Friday morning for the opening session at Marco Simone Golf Club.

U.S. team captain Zach Johnson elected to sit Spieth and Thomas, despite their 8-2-0 record when playing together in international events. Thomas struggled with his form throughout the PGA Tour season and missed the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his career. He needed one of Johnson’s six captain’s picks to make the team for the third time.

World No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns will take on Spain’s Jon Rahm and England’s Tyrrell Hatton in the first foursomes (alternate shot) match. Scheffler has won six times on the PGA Tour the past two seasons, but struggled mightily with his putting in 2023. Burns ranked fourth on tour in total putting and seventh in one-putt percentage (43.83%).

“Obviously, Scottie and I have played a lot of golf together, and we’re excited to team up and try to go out there and get the first point for our team,” Burns said.

Thomas has been one of the American team’s best players in international events and has a 6-2-1 record in the Ryder Cup. Spieth has an 8-7-3 record in the biennial international event.

“The gist of it is we’ve got 12 guys,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, I can’t play all 12 each session. So at some point, somebody’s got to sit. It’s a golf course that demands a lot out of you physically.

“I mean, I think it’s an ideal situation where you don’t necessarily want to play everybody [for] all five sessions. I’m not saying that’s what we’re going to do, but you’re taking everything into account. Not only that, but the eight guys I have down on paper are the ones that we feel best put us in the position to get off to a great start obviously.”

Despite Thomas’ struggles this season, Johnson insisted his decision wasn’t about the current form of either player.