Captain and Cup on their way as Ryder Cup week begins
European Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal plus members of his team and back room staff depart from London to Chicago with the Samuel Ryder Trophy in tow as competition week begins in earnest.
Two years after his predecessor Colin Montgomerie led Team Europe to a most dramatic triumph over the United States at The Celtic Manor Resort, 2012 incumbent José María Olazábal's Captaincy has reached the all-important competition week as the first job on the Spaniard's agenda was transporting the priceless Samuel Ryder Trophy from London to Chicago.
Accompanied by two of his Vice Captains in Darren Clarke and Miguel Angel Jimenez, plus Team Members Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari, Olazábal awoke to a grey and drizzly morning in West London on day one in the week of the 39th playing of the biennial clash, with the promise of sunshine and warmer temperatures to come in Chicago.
The party prepared to depart from London's Heathrow Airport to Chicago, Illinois, with the stage set at host venue Medinah Country Club, where Olazábal will meet up with the remainder of his 12-man playing team and assistants first thing on Tuesday morning.
The build-up to this year's transatlantic contest has been fervent and fevered, as always, and the next six days will undoubtedly hold excitement, intrigue, world-class match play golf and the passion and camaraderie that The Ryder Cup has become known and revered for.
Who will triumph, who will prevail? The 85 year old Cup, the icon of golf's greatest team event, is on its way to Chicago. Can Olazábal and his dozen charges once again reign supreme, and return the trophy to European shores one week hence?
Roll on Friday...