Ready to go!

Our man in Medinah, Dave Tindall, reflects on the opening pairings and looks forward to the big tee-off

By Dave Tindall.   Last Updated: 28/09/12 4:43am

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Sky Bet

At last.

The speculation is over and we now know the line-ups for Friday morning's opening fourballs.

0720 Jim Furyk/Brandt Snedeker v Rory McIlroy/Graeme McDowell
0735 Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley v Luke Donald/Sergio Garcia
0750 Jason Dufner/Zach Johnson v Lee Westwood/Francesco Molinari
0805 Steve Stricker/Tiger Woods v Ian Poulter/Justin Rose.

My knee-jerk impression to this was how strong the Europeans looked. It's easy to go down those matches and give Europe the nod in all of them although surely there's no way the visitors will just glide into a 4-0 lead.

However, when you start to give the US the benefit of the doubt (Snedeker is a great putter, Westwood and Molinari might not hole enough, Tiger has twice beaten Poulter in Ryder Cup matches), you could almost flip the result of all four matches.

Perhaps a 2-2 scoreline is a good shout although I'm just about leaning towards a 2½-1½ session win for Europe.

The media centre and twitter went into a prediction frenzy as soon as the skippers revealed their pairings and, on the whole, most were siding with Europe edging the morning session.

It's still all guesswork though and to prove how strong a hand Davis Love has, the four men he's left out include the current Masters and US Open champions. Then again, if it really is a big hitters' paradise, why bench Bubba and Dustin Johnson. Like I say, you could go back and forth on this all day.

Sky Bet's odds reflect the lean towards Europe though and the shortest price (100/30) in their Day 1 Foursomes Correct Score betting is that 2½-1½ mentioned earlier. Europe 4-0 is 25/1 while it's 50s that the Americans inflict a whitewash.

Elsewhere today, I paid a visit to the TV compound to see the Sky boys and girls (and it's striking and refreshing how many females there are in the crew) hard at work.

I'm car sharing with one of the cameramen, Ian, this week and he told me over dinner last night about an idea they had to do a slow-motion shot involving leaves being blown away to reveal the Ryder Cup.

Ideas and practical realities sometimes clash so Ian wasn't sure if he'd be able to secure the trophy to set up the shot.

However, when I went inside the truck I saw the footage being edited so they'd pulled the stunt off. Look out for it in the coverage over the next few days.

Talking of stunts I also got two journos to agree to a comedy punch-up (they were pretending to be warring Euro and US writers) while, after some random tweeting, I met a Spanish journalist whose father once made some golf shoes for Seve (you can see them in the picture below).

Opening Ceremony

Later I wandered down to see the Opening Ceremony being set up and at that stage it was just volunteers putting rows of white chairs out.

When it came to the actual event, my hopes of getting a seat, or indeed getting within 100 yards, were dashed as the crowds were absolutely enormous.

The Ceremony itself started somewhat bizarrely as swimmer Michael Phelps sheepishly came out first and then Justin Timberlake died on his arse with some lame golf gags before recovering.

We eventually got going and Jose Maria Olazabal gave a wonderful speech full of passion and charm. He truly is an exceptional man and, win or lose, I expect him to be a marvellous captain.

Davis Love is an honourable man as well, although lacking Ollie's flair, and he too struck the right note.

And so the wait is over. Despite the thrill of being here, I have felt a growing sense of "just get on with it" as Thursday's gone on. In fact, I wouldn't be averse to the idea of the Ryder Cup starting on a Thursday so it's contested over four days with every player being involved in every session. Then again, the current way adds definite intrigue.

I won't embarrass myself with a #onemoresleep hashtag but the thought that the Ryder Cup starts in a matter of hours is fully deserving of a "Woo-hoooo".

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