Plane fun

Europe's caddies had the Ryder Cup contingent in stitches on the eight-hour Virgin flight from Heathrow to Louisville.

And they even found a way to look in the bright side when the special charter was delayed by 25 minutes on the tarmac by technical fault with the plane in front.

A spillage of hydraulic fluid in an Air Canada flight delayed the departure of Nick Faldo's troops but the caddie contingent kept spirits up at the back of the plane.

Waiting for the offending Air Canada flight to move off, a caddie made a mock announcement, declaring: "Would Colin Montgomerie please remove his Lexus from the runway."

Harrington paired with McDowell

Padraig Harrington got his Ryder Cup wish when he paired with Graeme McDowell on the first practice day.

The Irish pair set off with Swede Henrik Stenson as skipper Nick Faldo kept everyone guessing on his possible foursomes partnerships by sending his troops out in threeballs.

Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Soren Hansen went off first, followed by Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Robert Karlsson.

Harrington, McDowell and Stenson went next with rookies Oliver Wilson and Justin Rose bringing up the rear with Spanish veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Photo finish

Europe went one up on the US by plastering the team room with inspirational Ryder Cup photographs.

Skipper Faldo ordered more than an dozen poster sized prints of great Ryder Cup moments, such as Christy O'Connor's two iron in 1989, Philip Walton's Oak Hill hug with Bernard Gallacher or Paul McGinley's winning putt at the Belfry in 2002.

The Americans wondered why their team room had no inspirational image on the walls and immediately ordered their own.

McNeilly is caddie captain

Ulsterman Dave McNeilly has been appointed Caddie Captain by Ryder Cup skipper Nick Faldo.

The Irish bagman, who caddied for Faldo and Nick Price before toting the clubs for Padraig Harrington and Niclas Fasth, will be making sure the caddies want for nothing this week.

A veteran of three Ryder Cup matches, McNeilly said: "I've been out on tour since 1982 and it's a great honour. I was handed a note from Nick as I walked off the 72nd green in the US PGA. He asked me to come to the commentary booth and then offered me the chance to get involved.

"It will be interesting to see the other side of things this time and I'll be there to make sure the caddies have everything they need. Say Padraig is in a tight match in the morning and has very little time before he goes out again. I will find out what he wants for lunch and then make sure his bag is restocked with balls and everything else before they go out again in the afternoon."