A visit to the merchandise tent here is quite an experience. I’ve just done it and feel a little shell-shocked. It’s about the size of two football pitches and is packed to the gunnels with all manner of things bearing the Ryder Cup logo. I think I saw a Ryder Cup toothbrush in there.
I would estimate there were something in the region of 1,000 people in the tent, all clambering to get their hands on things like mauve and lilac Ryder Cup tank-tops and Ryder Cup shot glasses. I was keen to get some souvenirs but the sheer scale of the place got to me. I wandered through in a confused daze, unthinkingly throwing items into my shopping bag. “Polo shirts, yes I’ll need a few of them. Hats? Oh yes a couple I think. A windcheater? Why not…”
By the time I reached the checkout I had enough clobber to kit out my own Ryder Cup team. A quick bit of mental arithmetic while in the queue and I suddenly realised I was about to spend nearly $600. A swift about-turn ensued and I began the ignominious task of trailing back through the store replacing the vast majority of items I’d selected. Another 10 minutes and I was back at the till with roughly a third of what I was originally going to leave with. It’s a very dangerous place and I won’t be going back.
As I write this, things are looking a little sketchy for the European side. After a very promising start to the foursomes, the US roared back towards the end of the round and could easily have won all four matches. As it was, Harrington and Karlsson and Westwood and Garcia scraped halves and the first session finished 3-1 to the Americans. It looks like this afternoon could be a tight affair too.
The surprise package is the pairing of Mahan and Leonard – they saw of Stenson and Casey by 3&2 this morning and are already two up on Garcia and Jimenez this afternoon. Mahan has started birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie. Anyone would think he had something to prove.