Ryder Cup officially gets underway

The Ryder Cup
© PA Photos
The 2012 Ryder Cup officially gets underway following Thursday's opening ceremony at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois.

The 2012 Ryder Cup has officially got underway following Thursday's opening ceremony at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois.

Host captain Davis Love III was joined on stage by his European counterpart Jose Maria Olazabal to introduce their respective teams of 12 players.

The ceremony also included appearances from Justin Timberlake and 18-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps.

"On this stage we have the best 24 golfers on either side of the Atlantic. They've worked hard for this honour," said Olazabal.

"Davis and I go back a long way. We both started as professionals in 1985. Looking around the teams, I see that some were not born and others were still in primary school!

"We're both Ryder Cup captains, but we're still fearless competitors. Europe have every intention of taking the trophy back with us."

Meanwhile, Love III's message was one of unity ahead of Friday's opening foursomes matches.

"As we Americans square off against your distinguished European squad, let's remember what we're doing here. We start the matches on a note of friendship and end it the same way.

"We should remember that these matches are not life and death. These games have to be played in the spirit and graciousness. Captain Olazabal, you embody true class in the game all your golfing life."

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will take on Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker in the first foursomes contest on Friday after the opening matches were announced at the ceremony.

Rory Mcilroy
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