Captain Jim Furyk says Phil Mickelson-Tiger Woods Ryder Cup pairing 'not too likely'

PARIS -- If there was any thought of putting Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson together as a team at the Ryder Cup, U.S. captain Jim Furyk all but put an end to it Wednesday.

The improved relationship of the two American stars has fueled some arguments in favor of such a pairing, and it gained a bit of traction Tuesday when Mickelson said that he and Woods would "welcome'' such an opportunity.

Furyk got the question immediately in his news conference at Le Golf National.

"I guess nothing's out of the realm,'' Furyk said. "They did play some golf yesterday. I think they both mentioned it would be a lot better pairing than it was in the past. I won't ever say it wouldn't happen. But it's not too likely.''

The duo had a disastrous Ryder Cup pairing in 2004, playing four-ball and foursomes on the opening day, only to lose in both matches as the U.S. went on to an 18½-9½ defeat at Oakland Hills, the biggest home defeat in Ryder Cup history.

Wednesday's practice round pairings might give some clues as to what will happen when the Ryder Cup begins Friday morning with four-ball competition.

Woods was in a group with Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth. Reed and Spieth have teamed up to earn five out of seven points at the past two Ryder Cups, which could suggest Woods will be paired with Thomas. There is, however, a growing feeling that Reed and Spieth could be split up; Woods practiced a good deal with Reed on Wednesday.

The other practice groups consisted of Mickelson with Bryson DeChambeau, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, and  Tony Finau with  Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka.

Watson and Simpson have longed been viewed as a team, given their success at the 2012 Ryder Cup. That would leave Mickelson with DeChambeau.

Johnson and Koepka teamed for one match two years ago, although Fowler conceivably could play with either of them.

The pairings for the Friday morning four-balls will be announced Thursday at 11 a.m. (ET), with the after foursomes pairings to come near the end of the four-ball competition on Friday.

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