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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.