Live Commentary: 2014 Ryder Cup Opening Ceremony

A general view of the Ryder Cup trophy on a branded plinth during a VIP dinner at Gleneagles on September 23, 2013
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Sports Mole brings you live coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Europe captain Paul McGinley has paired rookie Stephen Gallacher with Ian Poulter for Friday morning's fourballs at the 2014 Ryder Cup.

McGinley's third pairing will face Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed before the morning session is concluded with a highly-anticipated showdown between Rory McIlroy & Sergio Garcia and Keegan Bradley & Phil Mickelson.

The match between Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson will get the competition underway with the second game featuring Rickie Fowler & Jimmy Walker and Thomas Bjorn & Martin Kaymer.

Read below to see how the introductions took place at Gleneagles.


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3.31pmHello, and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

3.34pmAhead of every major tournament, it's only customary to have an opening ceremony to start proceedings. They can be long and arduous, but it's also a step closer to the main event getting underway. Today's opening at Gleneagles should be fun though and above all else, meaningful - we get to find out the pairings for tomorrow's fourballs, which seem to have been the topic of conversation all week.

3.36pmWe are already underway at Gleneagles but we are going to have to wait another 25 minutes before we get a glimpse of the two teams. Each of the 24 players will be introduced one-by-one to the crowd before the respective captains deliver their final speeches. Then, the moment that everyone has been waiting for - the fourballs announcement.

3.38pmThe plan is for each captain to take it in turns to reveal each selection. It's supposed to heighten the tension and excitement, I guess? Expect that to happen at some point around 5pm.

3.40pmThis is the scene at Gleneagles. Everyone seems to be in place, except for the players and captain of course.



3.43pmWhile we wait for the introductions, how about I point you in the direction of our dedicated Ryder Cup section. We have had all angles covered this week, with previews and quotes from the majority of the players. You can take a peek for yourself by clicking here.

3.48pmAs I have just mentioned, we have put together a couple of previews focusing on the make-up of each side. Everything that you could possibly want to know about Team USA can be found by clicking here, while the Team Europe piece can be viewed here.

3.51pmThe course at Gleneagles was sampled by a number of former players and celebrities this morning. If you missed it, former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen proved the kind of pressure that will be present on the first tee tomorrow morning by hooking his drive onto the 18th hole! He used to play off scratch, too.

3.54pmTom Watson and the USA team have just been shown leaving their hotel on their way to the Opening Ceremony. Hopefully that should mean that we will be getting started at the scheduled time of 4pm.

3.57pmThe European team will be following their opponents after posing for a group photograph. Three minutes to go, folks.

4.00pmWhat is it about selfies these days? Rory McIlroy, the world number one golfer in the world, has just taken out his phone and took a photo of himself and his teammates. I hope he puts his phone on silent when he's on the stage...

4.02pmIt should be noted that the European team are dressed in some very fetching Tartan attire. I'm not too sure if would work anywhere else but Scotland, but I suppose that doesn't matter. I don't think that they will be wearing them after this weekend...

4.05pmFinally, we are underway. Presenter Di Dougherty has taken to the stage to introduce the competition, while also getting a cheap pop for Scotland's own Sam Torrance, who seemed to be in a world of his own.

4.07pmWe are only five minutes into this Opening Ceremony and we already have a partisan atmosphere. Shouts of "Europe!" nearly prevent Di Dougherty from continuing with her speech. Good job she didn't - here come the two teams!

4.09pmAs you would expect, there are plenty of kilts and bagpipes on show (not from the players, may I add), but the two teams and respective captains follow to a respectful cheer from the crowd. The Ryder Cup has been placed so that each member must walk past it on the way to the stage. Good bit of organisation there.

4.09pmLooking at the crowd, there seems to be as many American flags on show as there does Europe. Interesting.

4.12pmWe will now get a performance from Scottish singer Amy MacDonald. She says it's a song about "the pride she gets from representing such a beautiful country". It's probably the only time this afternoon that everyone has been sat perfectly still. It's a good song, though. I'm sure that they are just saving their energy for later.

4.13pmI'm looking for a head nod from Tom Watson, but I don't think that we are going to get one.

4.16pmWe will now get the official welcome for both teams from first minster Alex Salmond. He speaks about Scotland's part in the history of the Ryder Cup, and draws a laugh from the audience about Scotland's early success in the competition. He calls the Ryder Cup "the greatest golf competition in the world". He's right, you know.

4.19pmIt's now time for the national anthem of Scotland. This is going to be impeccably observed but passionately embraced. It's been a massive summer for Scottish sport. After hosting the Commonwealth Games just a couple of months ago, they now stage the Ryder Cup. It's all pretty exciting stuff!

4.22pmThe president of the PGA Tour Ted Bishop will now say a few words. Hopefully Ted gets a hurry on because we want to hear from the captains. He heaps praise on Scotland for inventing the sport of golf and thanks Scotland for hosting such a prestigious event.

4.23pmBishop exits the stage by introducing Tom Watson. Let's hear what the USA skipper has to say.

4.25pm"Just as Scotland is the heart and soul of the game of golf, the Ryder Cup is the pinnacle of team competition in sport". Bold words from the eight-time major winner, but that's what this competition means to everyone associated with the sport.

4.26pmWatson tells his team that he couldn't be more proud to be captain of the American team before individually introducing each player one-by-one. Keegan Bradley is the first to be acknowledged by the crowd, so I guess we are going in alphabetical order.

4.27pmThe reception for Phil Mickelson is particularly loud. 'Lefty' is a big fan of Scottish links golf and has had plenty of success in the country.

4.28pmBubba Watson also gets a nice reception. Maybe Scotland is a lover of lefties?

4.31pmAfter the American national anthem is observed, we now move onto Team Europe. The reaction to the American introductions may have been pleasant, but when Paul McGinley takes to the mic, expect the decibel to go up several notches.

4.32pmHere he comes. Paul McGinley is about to address the crowd, and let's be patriotic here, the whole of Europe.

4.34pmLike Watson, McGinley speaks of his pride about leading the chosen 12 players. Each sentence is being met by a round of applause, by the way. McGinley says that he is expecting an epic contest, and pauses, expecting more applause, but it doesn't arrive. Slightly awkward.

4.35pmMcGinley makes a point of encouraging the crowd to get involved but to the courteous and respectful to the players. Quite right, too. We don't want any enthusiasm spilling over.

4.37pmThe Irishman also has some kind words for the caddies and vice captains. It's pretty clear that McGinley is keen to stress that this is a team effort.

4.38pmIt's time for the introductions. Who will get the biggest roar? Stephen Gallacher or Ian Poulter?

4.40pmIt's a close-run thing, but I think that Gallacher was the winner, followed shortly by McIlroy and Poulter. Victor Dubuisson's reaction was up there too.

4.41pmIt's now time for the European national anthem. Anyone have any idea how this goes? Me neither...oh, I do. Paul McGinley is starting to look a little emotional.

4.44pmFinally, it's the moment that we have all been waiting for - the fourballs announcement. Di Dougherty is trying to rouse the crowd. Come on, Di, just get the captains on.

4.45pmThe first match will be between Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson and Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson.

4.46pmThe second match will be between Rickie Fowler & Jimmy Walker and Thomas Bjorn & Martin Kaymer.

4.47pmThe third match will be between Jordan Speith & Patrick Reed and Stephen Gallacher & Ian Poulter. That's going to be a popular fourballs!

4.48pmThe final match of the morning session will be between Keegan Bradley & Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia & Rory McIlroy.

4.49pmWhat do we think about that, everyone? The last two matches certainly stand out from the first two, but as with any Ryder Cup, every point is going to be important.

4.51pmThe two teams will now leave the stage with their partners to conclude the Opening Ceremony. If the last hour hasn't whetted your appetite, nothing will.

4.53pmOn that note, we will bring Sports Mole's coverage to a close. Don't fear though, we will be back tomorrow bright (ish) and early at 7am to get our live text coverage of the event underway. Goodbye for now.

The 2014 USA Ryder Cup team and captain Tom Watson pose for a photo at Gleneagles ahead of the event on September 23, 2014
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