01/10/2010 12:03
Europe and the USA: the perfect romance
 When Mark Rapp, from South Carolina (also home to US Team rookie, Dustin Johnson), met Viktoria, a beautiful young lady from Sweden (birthplace of Peter Hanson, another player making his Ryder Cup debut) in New York City, the pair quickly fell in love, and their transatlantic romance blossomed.
Rapp soon realised he'd met the woman of his dreams and they settled together in Geneva, Switzerland, so Viktoria could continue working for the European Commission. The couple married a couple of weeks ago in Santorini, Greece and, in the true spirit of International Relations, the golf fans decided to spend their honeymoon in Wales enjoying the 38th Ryder Cup. "It's every man's dream come true," said Mark, as they watched the Opening Ceremony together. "You find the gorgeous girl, then she suggests you spend your honeymoon watching the best golf tournament in the world. I am the envy of all my friends. I can't believe how lucky I am." Let's hope the pair are still speaking when the Ryder Cup is lifted by one of the teams come Sunday.
There really are no words to describe the euphoria that swept the fairways of Celtic Manor this afternoon, as Colin Montgomerie’s embattled men reclaimed the Samuel Ryder Cup as their own. As the sun shone brightly over the picturesque Usk Valley, this lush pocket of south Wales saw a groundswell of European pride emerging from the sodden earth. The air was filled with raw emotion as complete strangers hugged and patted each other on the back. Tears streamed down the cheeks of grown men, who cheered with booming voices, and mothers clung to bewildered children who knew only that they had never before seen anything like this – and may never do so again.
History is being made in this, the 38th Ryder Cup. For some, they’ll be delighted this event is going down in the record books: for others, they might prefer to banish the memories and move on....
For the fans, the key lesson from yesterday’s shenanigans was to think carefully about their attire so they could survive the sporting marathon. The merchandise pavilion in the tented village has virtually sold out of waterproof gear, and supplies of the official Ryder Cup umbrellas were gone before a ball was hit in anger. So, spectators came prepared in all manner of garb, to show their allegiances, while somehow keeping dry and warm.
As European Team Captain Colin Montgomerie’s predecessor, Sir Nick Faldo waved goodbye to the Ryder Cup in the Kentucky sunshine two years ago, and quipped: “See you in Wales – and bring your waterproofs.”
While the US and European Teams battle it out on the fairways at Celtic Manor, one newlywed couple in the crowd is flying the flag for both teams ....
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