RYDER CUP: Danny Willett left out of the opening session

Europe's Danny Willett
Europe's Danny Willett

Masters champion Danny Willett was left out of the opening session of the 41st Ryder Cup as the furore over his brother’s anti-American comments hit home.

Willett had looked set to partner Lee Westwood in the morning foursomes as the pair practised together on Thursday, with European captain Darren Clarke sending his likely pairings out together.

But after seeing Willett struggling with his game - including an errant shot on the second which hit a spectator on the head - in a nine-hole match against Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer, Clarke took the decision to pair rookie Thomas Pieters with Westwood instead.

Open champion Henrik Stenson and Olympic gold medallist Justin Rose, who won all three matches together at Gleneagles in 2014, were chosen to contest the opening match against Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, who also went unbeaten in Scotland.

Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan were up against Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler in match two, with Garcia and Kaymer then taking on Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson.

Westwood and Pieters were in the final match against US Open champion Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.