GOLF: Europe will have to overcome the odds if they are to successfully defend the Ryder Cup when the competition begins in Chicago tomorrow.
Though the defending champions have won four of the last five contests, six of the last seven have also been won by the home side.
As a result bookmakers have made the United States firm favourites to regain the trophy last won under Paul Azinger at Valhalla in 2008.
But with Europe boasting four of the world's top five-ranked players, captain Jose Maria Olazabal is eager to get underway.
"It's great to be at this position and getting closer to Friday's matches," said Olazabal, who experienced the "War on the Shore" at Kiawah Island in 1991 and the "Battle of Brookline" in 1999 as a player.
"There is not much more room to manoeuvre at the moment, so everything is set. Players are ready. We are all eager to see the first match on that first tee."
He added: "The sooner we get to that point, obviously the more excitement you feel, the more pressure, the more tension.
"I think Friday morning is going to be amazing. It's going to be loud. That's the beauty of this event."
Olazabal and his team, who will be joined by US captain Davis Love and his side in honouring the late, great Seve Ballesteros, mixed things up in yesterday's final nine-hole practice.
World number one Rory McIlroy was no longer with regular partner Graeme McDowell, but with Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer instead.
But when the foursomes begin tomorrow, it is widely expected that McIlroy and McDowell will be back in harness and that Donald and Garcia - unbeaten in six games together in that format - will again be partners.