Ryder Cup 2023: Stars including Novak Djokovic, Gareth Bale and Tom Grennan descend on Rome as Rory McIlroy’s wife Erica Stoll joins WAGS cheering on Europe – after desperate fans sprinted in to get the best view at 6.30am
- RYDER CUP LIVE: Dominant Europe roar into a sensational 4-0 lead in foursomes
Celebrities including Novak Djokovic, Gareth Bale and Tom Grennan have descended on Rome to cheer on Europe as they battle the USA for this year’s Ryder Cup.
The prestigious golf tournament got underway this morning as stars including Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm – who were cheered on by their wives Erica Stoll and Kelley Cahill – teed off at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in front of thousands of excited fans.
The 44th Ryder Cup got of to a lively start as video showed an estimated 4,700 spectators desperately sprinting to grab the best seats at 6.30am. Around 150,000 fans will descend on the spectacular course over the next three days.
Although ticket sales among locals have been underwhelming for the first-ever Ryder Cup in Italy, there were plenty of British golf fans and European celebrities who were in attendance – and their support paid off as Europe got off to a dream start.
Tennis World No 1 Djokovic was spotted surveying the first day’s action, as were Wales football legend Gareth Bale and F1 ace Carlos Sainz – who were both beaten by the Serbian in an All-Star golf match on Wednesday.
Tennis World No 1 Djokovic was spotted surveying the first day’s action in Rome as Europe got off to a flyer
Wales football great Gareth Bale, known for being a huge golf fan, was also in attendance on day one
Rory McIlroy’s wife Erica Stoll applauds at the fifth tee during the foursomes on day one in Rome
Team Europe’s Jon Rahm with his wife Kelley Cahill following his foursomes match on Friday morning
Kelley Cahill, wife of Jon Rahm of Team Europe (L) talks to Olivia Peet (R), the girlfriend of Ryder Cup debutant Ludvig Åberg
The 44th Ryder Cup got of to a lively start as video showed an estimated 4,700 spectators desperately sprinting to grab the best seats at 6.30am
Hollywood actress Kathryn Newton – who also played in the All-Star contest – was spotted walking around the course wearing a USA team outfit and waving her country’s flag.
British singer-songwriter Tom Grennan, who performed at the Ryder Cup opening ceremony last night, was also pictured giving his full support to captain Luke Donald’s Europe side.
While much of the focus is on the golf, plenty of eyes and camera lenses will be on the other halves of the players, with Europe’s wags going up against their US rivals in the fashion stakes.
McIlroy’s wife Erica Stoll – who has been married to the Northern Ireland star in 2017 – was seen applauding her husband as he got off to a fantastic start in Rome.
McIlroy has been paired up with Tommy Fleetwood for day one foursomes and they have been dubbed ‘Fleetwood Mac’.
Ahead of the highly-anticipated contest, fans of both teams were in good voice on a warm and sultry Thursday evening as the final preparations were completed for Italy’s first staging of the biennial team event.
The par-71 course, completely re-modelled after Italy was chosen as host, looked magnificent in the late summer sunshine while queues snaked towards giant merchandise stores, with fans emerging laden with expensive souvenirs.
Tom Grennan in the crowd during the Foursomes on day one of the 44th Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club
Hollywood actress Kathryn Newton – who also played in the All-Star contest – was spotted walking around the course with a US outfit, waving her country’s flag
Katherine Morikawa (centre), wife of USA’s Collin Morikawa during day one of the 44th Ryder Cup
Scottie Scheffler of Team United States and wife Meredith Scheffler embrace during a tough first day for the USA
Fans watch on the 15th green during the Friday morning foursomes matches of the Ryder Cup
Team USA fans during the Foursomes on day one of the 44th Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club
Team Europe’s Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood celebrate after winning their foursomes match on day one
At the ceremony in the fan zone, cheers erupted as Europe’s players were introduced by former world number one and four-time Ryder Cup player Donald -the loudest reserved for the ‘Fleetwood Mac’ duo.
The lure of the Eternal City and the magic of the Ryder Cup means there will be plenty of stars and stripes mixed in with the yellow and blue of Europe over the next three days, with hundreds having made the trip across the pond.
Team Europe are looking to recover from their heavy 19-9 defeat two years ago in Wisconsin.
Serbian tennis star and World No 1 Novak Djokovic applauds at during the foursomes matches
Gareth Bale crouches down as he watches the highly-anticipated 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome today
Novak Djokovic and American actress Kathryn Newton pose for a photo by the fifteenth green
Europe got off to a dream start with a 4-0 sweep of foursomes against the USA this morning
Europe’s fans went all out with their outfits as they came in their droves to show their support
There is plenty of hope that they can regain the trophy though, as it has now been 30 years since the US claimed victory on European soil.
The European pair of Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton got the competition started at 06:35 (BST) against the USA’s Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns.
World No.1 Scheffler played the first shot of the day but it is the European team who have made the stronger start in Rome.
They got off to a dream start with a 4-0 sweep of foursomes against the USA this morning.
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