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Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell bury hatchet

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell have buried the hatchet, ahead of teaming up at the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles starting Friday.

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The Northern Irishmen became embroiled in legal proceedings, with McIlroy's former management company Horizon - who count McDowell as a client - forced into an out-of-court settlement in September with the world number one aggrieved with contract negotiations.

McIlroy had claimed he was getting a worse deal than McDowell despite being promised similar terms, but with the issue now officially put to rest, the pair have both claimed they remain strong friends heading into the illustrious team tournament.

In a column for BBC Sport on Sunday, McDowell admitted his relationship with countryman McIlroy was tested - but also claimed it "strengthened" as a result of the legal proceedings.

"Yes, it has been a rough time over the last couple of years on the business side of things for both me and Rory because he has been involved in a lawsuit with my management company," McDowell wrote.

"And it certainly has put a stress on our relationship, but we have put those things behind us this year. If anything, our friendship has been strengthened by what we have experienced.

"We have talked about it and we would certainly love to renew our partnership again."

Speaking to Sky Sports, McIlroy reiterated McDowell's claims that his grievances were a thing of the past.

When asked about potential pairings, the four-time major winner responded: "I'm very lucky that I get on well with a lot of the guys.

"Graeme McDowell obviously is a big friend of mine, Poults [Ian Poulter] I've played with before, Sergio Garcia's another one where we've got a good chemistry.

"So there's a few guys I can play with. You might see a few interesting pairings next week, I'm not going to give much away here."

McIlroy added he felt the pressure to lead the team with his Cup-winning experience was a burden, and he claimed team success would rank higher than his major wins.

"I'm going have to be one of the leaders and be expected to lead by example, and that's a big responsibility, but one I want to try and handle and try and get a few points on the board early for the team," the 25-year-old said.

"It's way better to win as part of a team. The best experiences in my golf career have been the Ryder Cup and to be able to celebrate with all these guys. It's very special."

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