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

Celebrities including Novak Djokovic, Gareth Bale and Tom Grennan have descended on Rome to cheer on Team 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 were cheered on by their wives Erica Stoll and Kelley Cahill on an impressive first morning at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.

There was also a lovely moment between Rahm’s wife Kelley Cahill and Olivia Peet, the girlfriend of Ryder Cup debutant Ludvig Åberg, who were pictured soaking up the sun and laughing together as they watched their partners.

The 44th Ryder Cup got off 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 roared into a 4-0 lead this morning.

Tennis World No 1 Djokovic was spotted surveying the first day’s action in Rome as Europe got off to a flyer

Kelley Cahill, wife of Jon Rahm of Team Europe (L) talks to Olivia Peet (R), the girlfriend of Ryder Cup debutant Ludvig Åberg as the wags descended on Rome

Kelley Cahill, wife of Jon Rahm of Team Europe (L) talks to Olivia Peet (R), the girlfriend of Ryder Cup debutant Ludvig Åberg as the wags descended on Rome

Kate Rose (left), wife of Team Europe Justin Rose,

Rachel Colsaerts, wife of Team Europe's vice-captain Nicolas Colsaerts

Kate Rose (left), wife of Team Europe Justin Rose, and Rachel Colsaerts, wife of Team Europe’s vice-captain Nicolas Colsaerts (right)

Amanda Falkenberg, the partner of Team Europe's Nicolai Hojgaard, during day one of the 44th Ryder Cup

Amanda Falkenberg, the partner of Team Europe’s Nicolai Hojgaard, during day one of the 44th Ryder Cup

Wales football great Gareth Bale, known for being a huge golf fan, was also in attendance on day one

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

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

Team Europe’s Jon Rahm with his wife Kelley Cahill following his foursomes match on Friday morning

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

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

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.

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 as celebs flocked to the course in glorious sunny conditions.

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. 

Tom Grennan in the crowd during the Foursomes on day one of the 44th Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club

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

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

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

Scottie Scheffler of Team United States and wife Meredith Scheffler embrace during a tough first day for the USA

British entrepreneur and businessman Peter Jones was also lapping up the incredible atmosphere

British entrepreneur and businessman Peter Jones was also lapping up the incredible atmosphere

Fans watch on the 15th green during the Friday morning foursomes matches of the Ryder Cup

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 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

Team Europe’s Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood celebrate after winning their foursomes match on day one

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. 

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. 

Today, US supporters could be seen in stars-and-striped trousers and hats with American eagles sticking out from the top, while their European counterparts created a sea of blue of yellow as they wandered around the fans village at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.

‘It is amazing, the vibe and energy is incredible,’ Matt Williams, who flew to Italy from California to watch his first Ryder Cup, told Reuters as he walked inside the gigantic merchandise shop in the fan village.

Serbian tennis star and World No 1 Novak Djokovic applauds at during the foursomes matches

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

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

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 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

Europe’s fans went all out with their outfits as they came in their droves to show their support

Spectators watch on during the Fourballs on day one of the 44th Ryder Cup in Rome today

Spectators watch on during the Fourballs on day one of the 44th Ryder Cup in Rome today

The crowds wait in anticipation as Northern Ireland star Rory McIlroy prepares to tee off on the 1st hole

The crowds wait in anticipation as Northern Ireland star Rory McIlroy prepares to tee off on the 1st hole 

Xander Schauffele of Team United States tees off on the first hole during the Friday afternoon fourball matches

Xander Schauffele of Team United States tees off on the first hole during the Friday afternoon fourball matches

With queues of 100m almost all day during the week, the shop stocks the usual array of U.S. and European-themed shirts, hats, flags and towels, but also offers wines from the central Italian region of Tuscany and southern Puglia.

The atmosphere gradually built in the early morning in anticipation of the foursomes, which Europe went on to win with a 4-0 sweep.

‘This is my eighth Ryder Cup, we are veterans,’ said Andy Nichol, who came with his friends from England and had British flags all over his suit, including on his tie and hat.

Team Europe are looking to recover from their heavy 19-9 defeat two years ago in Wisconsin.

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.

European fans celebrate another point on the 15th green during the Friday morning foursomes

European fans celebrate another point on the 15th green during the Friday morning foursomes

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. 

The Americans now have try to keep it close in the afternoon fourballs, four new partnerships for both teams, and all 12 players assured of getting in on the action. 

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