There is no question, the Ryder Cup is a special occasion. Has there ever been the prospect of a Ryder Cup quite as special as this one? I admit there were times when I feared this might not happen. Even after the match was rescheduled there was talk of whether there would be any fans at all.
Steve and I are here, our teams are here, our caddies are here but more importantly you are here. You, the fans make this Ryder Cup what it is. Let’s make this the best Ryder Cup there ever has been.
We’re about five minutes in and I am still not sure. A lot of hot air and bluster and not a lot of substance. A quick roll call from the presenters finds out that most of the fans are there to support USA (USA! USA! USA!).
Out come the wives and partners of the players and captains. How very quaint…
How will it go? Ryder Cup predictions: Our experts’ verdicts – from which team will win to most likely flashpoint
These events can often be tempestuous and feisty affairs. Even when they are good-natured, the crowd can whip things up. That’s no bad thing. But how do our team of experts think this one will play out? The USA team is packed with star talent, but lacks the experience of the European’s line-up. Does that matter? Read the full piece here.
It’s the eve of the 2021 Ryder Cup and that means two things. One, the opening ceremony. Two, the pairings for tomorrow’s foursomes and fourballs will be announced by both captains. Now, you may find one of those things more exciting and interesting than the other but we have it all covered. The opening ceremony begins at 9pm BST and at the end of it all, the pairings will be announced.
Meanwhile, Paul Casey is hoping to make the most of another Ryder Cup appearance, this time as an automatic qualifier.
Casey played in Europe’s successive nine-point victories in 2004 and 2006 – famously ending one match at the K Club with a hole-in-one – as well as the defeat at Valhalla in 2008.
But he was then overlooked for a wild card in 2010 by captain Colin Montgomerie, despite being ranked seventh in the world at the time, and was not even a member of the European Tour for a number of years before rejoining in 2017 and getting a wild card the following year in Paris.
“There was a time pre-Paris that I thought I might never play another Ryder Cup, having missed a couple, more than a couple,” said Casey.
“I was quite emotional in Paris because of that gap. The form I had been through and to be part of that great team in Paris has been one of the most special moments of my career.
“The fact I was a pick made me sort of nervous coming down the last few weeks. This one I felt much more comfortable.
“And now I’m even looking at Westy [Lee Westwood] going, ‘How many more can I play? I think Westy is 48. I’m 44 thinking can I squeeze a couple more out?
“It’s amazing how my view on it has changed going from maybe I’m done, to what does the future hold?”
A United States team featuring eight of the world’s top 10 are odds-on favourites to regain the trophy after their comprehensive defeat in Paris, but Casey is quietly confident the visitors can pull off another upset victory.
“I think firstly the dynamic is brilliant,” the 44-year-old added. “I don’t like to compare teams and say this team is better than another team I’ve played on. But this team as a unified team is so strong.”