Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell kept apart in practice groups

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Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell are unlikely to be paired together during this week's Ryder Cup as it was announced the two will be practicing in separate groups.

Europe's captain Paul McGinley had admitted that the Northern Irish pair may not play together when he spoke to the media on Monday.

That appears to be the case as McGinley has decided to separate them during practice sessions ahead of the start of the event on Friday.

Court case

There has been talk of a disagreement between McIlroy and McDowell as the world number one is currently involved in a court case against his former management team, the same company that look after McDowell.

However McGinley doesn't believe there's any tension between the pair.

"Both of them have assured me all along that there are no issues and that's the way I've always seen it," McGinley said.

Unimpressive record

The pair played together in the World Cup in 2009 and finished runners-up and have a good record with each other at the Seve Trophy. However, after examining their Ryder Cup results together, McGinley doesn't think their record is too impressive and has hinted at breaking up their partnership.

"Three or four months ago, I had a very strong view that they would have been, but the more I look at their statistics and the more I look at the different value I have with them, I'm thinking there may be value in not doing it.

"If I don't decide to play them, it would be for tactical reasons. They have played six Ryder Cup matches and they have only won two together (losing three and halving one). It's not like these guys are written in stone. They are not a formidable fourball pairing that's unbeatable (both wins have come in foursomes)."

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Cast his eye

McGinley will cast his eye over the first round of practice with McIlroy, Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia being the first group out.

McDowell will be in the last group with Henrik Stenson and Victor Dubuisson, who will be making his Ryder Cup debut.

Another debutant Stephen Gallacher will be joined by experienced pair Ian Poulter and Justin Rose while Jamie Donaldson will play with Thomas Bjorn and Lee Westwood.

Three fourballs

The U.S. side will practice in three different fourballs with Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson being followed by Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Hunter Mahan and Patrick Reed.

The final group will consist of Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker.

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Graeme McDowell
Rory McIlroy
Ryder Cup

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