The opening ceremony of the 2010 Ryder Cup (Getty Images)
Let the games begin
The 2010 Ryder Cup was officially opened as the flags were raised, the teams introduced and the national anthems sung at the Opening Ceremony alongside the 18th green of The Twenty Ten Course.
The distinguished guests included José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, the Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales, Jim Remy, President of the PGA of America, and Sir Terry Matthews, owner of The Celtic Manor Resort whose dream brought The Ryder Cup to Wales for the first time.
“The Ryder Cup matches have come to symbolise the finest elements of match-play golf, where expertise and skill, courage and integrity, passion and dignity are all displayed in equal measures,” said President Barroso.
“From Samuel Ryder’s original concept all those years ago, the 38th match, will I know, perfectly reflect his enthusiasm for keen competition, fairness, and respect…..respect not only for your opponent but the game of golf itself.
"The European flag contains 12 stars and so does Colin Montgomerie's team."
Having sung the previous evening in the Welcome to Wales concert, Katherine Jenkins again gave a stunning performance before the ceremony began.
Sky Sports Di Stewart presented the ceremony during which the two teams were introduced by their captains – although US Captain Corey Pavin did temporarily miss out Stewart Cink much to the crowds amusement.
“These past two years have been an exciting time for my family and me,” said Pavin. “My wife, Lisa, and I have considered this a tremendous privilege to prepare for the Ryder Cup and to showcase our team to the world. The honour of serving as the 26th Captain of a United States Ryder Cup Team has been the most rewarding time of my career.
“I am pleased to have our team welcomed by European Captain Colin Montgomerie and his Team, their families, wives and partners, and Officials.
“Colin, thank you for your hospitality. You have been a mainstay of the Ryder Cup for the better part of your career. We both began this journey two years ago, and now it is upon us. We look forward to seeing you and your Team on the first tee tomorrow.”
“This is without question, the proudest moment of my golfing career,” Montgomerie responded. “As an eight time player myself I can tell you there is nothing to compare with standing on the first tee with the incredible support of you the fans and an atmosphere that is quite simply indescribable.”
The Welsh National Anthem - Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau/ The Land of My Fathers – was performed for you by Only Men Aloud and during which the Welsh National Guard raised the Flag of Wales which incorporates the Red Dragon of Cadwaladr – King of Gwynedd – along with the Tudor colours of green and white.
And the anticipation increased as the two Captains revealed their opening pairings for tomorrow’s fourballs:-
Match 1: Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson v Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer
Match 2: Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar v Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell
Match 3: Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods v Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher
Match 4: Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton v Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington