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The European Team lands in Louisville(Getty Images)

European Team flying high on arrival in Louisville

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And they're off! Ryder Cup Captain's Nick Faldo and Paul Azinger have opened the book on another edition of one of sport's greatest spectacles as Europe and the USA get ready to write another memorable chapter in The Ryder Cup's illustrious history.

Azinger was the first man on the tarmac at Louisville International Airport to greet Faldo, his European Team and, of course, The Ryder Cup Trophy from their Virgin Atlantic flight from London Heathrow.

As Team Europe were whisked off to their Official Hotel, the two Captains made their way to the Kentucky Exposition Centre to face the world's Media.

"I want to thank you all for being here and want to welcome you," said Azinger to his opposite number. "I was worried you might get some turbulence from Hurricane Ike but I guess your pilot avoided that which is good.

"You have brought a great Team over here again. I've been kind of marvelling at how well all of you guys have been playing. I know we'll be a little bit of the underdogs this week, but hopefully we can rise to the occasion and put on a good show. I just wanted to say welcome -- we've been waiting for this for two years, or more, and I'll turn it over to you."

Faldo responded: "Thanks, Paul, it's great to be here. It's finally here. This day, I've been waiting for nearly four years, and obviously we've been official Captains for the last two years, and finally this day has come.

"It's a little surreal when you've been thinking and starting to plan for this day since April, but here we are and we are looking forward to getting settled in and be out on the golf course tomorrow."

With Europe strong favourites to retain The Ryder Cup for an unprecedented fourth successive match, Azinger is hoping that the Kentucky crowd can create the kind of atmosphere that will see Team USA put an end to European dominance of the event.

"I think the local fans are already motivated and we'll do everything we can to get those fans ready," said Azinger. "I think those fans, they have been waiting for two years for this, so I think they have embraced The Ryder Cup.

"I feel like they have made me one of their own here and I'm real happy to be here and I couldn't think of a better place for us to play The Ryder Cup than Louisville, Kentucky. If I could hand pick any place in the country this would probably be the spot. I think they will be behind us. The message to the crowd is be enthusiastic, raucous, crazy if you like, but keep it all within the realm of good sportsmanship."

Faldo does not think his Team will be affected by anything the Kentuckians, or the magnificent Valhalla Golf Club can throw at his Team.

" I think back 20 odd years ago when we first came to Muirfield Village, the golf course in that era was very different to what we played in Europe because more players of the European Team played solely in Europe. They are international players now and are used to the conditioning of different style golf courses. The most obvious thing is the crowd support will be a bigger percentage, 25 percent Europeans here to 75 percent I assume will be American fans but our players will be ready for that."