European captain Jose Maria Olazabal revealed his first hand when Ryder Cup practice began in Chicago - and Luke Donald was not playing alongside Sergio Garcia.

The pair have won all four foursomes together in the match, but two years ago Donald teamed up with Lee Westwood and they thrashed top American pair Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker 6&5 at Celtic Manor.

Donald and Westwood were sent out with Ian Poulter and Justin Rose - partners in Louisville in 2008 - in the opening group, while Garcia was with Paul Lawrie, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.

World number one McIlroy and 2010 match-winner McDowell played all three games together in Wales and are expected to start together on Friday.

Lawrie, playing in the event for the first time since 1999, will be delighted if Garcia does become his partner, although there was still plenty of time for Olazabal to switch things around. Garcia won on the PGA Tour only last month, a week before the Scot won the Johnnie Walker Championship on home soil at Gleneagles.

The third grouping brought together the other four continentals in Olazabal's side - Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari, Peter Hanson and lone debutant Nicolas Colsaerts, the first Belgian to play in the Ryder Cup.

Europe were first on to the course, gathering at 7am first of all for team photographs. They wore orange shirts and jumpers with blue trousers, while their golf bags had an image of the late Seve Ballesteros imprinted.

US captain Davis Love's three groups for the opening practice session contained no real surprises either.

Woods was with Stricker and also Brandt Snedeker and Jim Furyk, while Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, winners of three out of four games at the Presidents Cup last year and now major champions as well, teed off alongside Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.

The other group was Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson and Zach Johnson, all of whom played at Celtic Manor, with Jason Dufner.