So the Ryder Cup comes to Ireland for the first time in the 79 year history of the competition, unfortunately the wrong course has been chosen but as with most things money talks. In spite of that though this remains one of the great sporting contests and given the hammering Europe inflicted at Oakland Hills the US find themselves in the unusual position of cup underdogs, although how that was the case in 1985 is still beyond me but again that's another issue.
America arrive at the K-Club with the top 3 players in the rankings but also have 4 rookies in the lineup some of whom have never played this match play format.
Emotions promise to be high in the European corner as well with Wild Card pick Darren Clarke only recently losing his wife, the fact that this will be Clarke's only chance to play a Ryder Cup in Ireland is likely to have contributed heavily to his decision to play, given that it will be 2034 at the earliest before the tournament returns to Ireland. Perhaps there'll be some tension as well with Montgomerie's comments about Olazabal's decision not to play in the final qualifying event and possibly geopardise his place on the team.
Things certainly seem to be favouring the US in the buildup though, preparation has gone well for Tom Lehman who even pulled off the coup of bring his entire team on a team bonding mission to the K-Club last month while the press hasn't been that great for Woosnam given his spat with Bjorn over the wildcard selections.
However none of that should have an impact when the fourballs gets under way on Friday morning. what matters for Lehman and Woosnam is getting their picks right with their pairings and keeping the players as relaxed as possible.
We'll see tomorow when the practice takes place what pairings the captains have in mind, will Monty be paired again with Harrington in what was a crucial first day partnership 2 years ago, will Donald and Garcia be as strong in the foursomes this time round, can Woods and Furyk repeat their Presidents Cup form and will Mickleson be more content knowing he won't be paired with Tiger.
So what level of interest is there here on TRF, will many be watching or will this whole shindig just pass by unnoticed?