Lehman has decided that a familiar diet is an important factor going into the trans-Atlantic event, and every effort has been made to ensure there is a home-style feeling in the US camp.

 

"When we were here over the last few years, it was very difficult to find good authentic chips and salsa," explained Lehman.

 

"So rather than try to find it we decided to bring our own. My wife Melissa is going to be involved in it, she's trying to create a down home atmosphere and chips and salsa is something that everybody likes, so we're having the real deal."

 

When the plane ferrying the American team landed in Ireland, it wasn't just carrying golfing superstars Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Chris di Marco, but also several bags of corn tortillas and all the ingredients for Lehman's secret salsa recipe.

 

In contrast, the European team led by Woosnam chose to bond over dinner, a few glasses of wine, and a video show of their recent Ryder Cup victories.

 

"That's what we have always done in the years before and we are carrying on that tradition," said Woosnam.

 

The teams are in Straffan, county Kildare southwest of Dublin, where the local weather has been less than welcoming for the visitors.

 

Players have three practice days on the K-Club course where the captains will decide on their tactics and pairings for the foursome and fourball matches on the first two days of play.

 

The USA Ryder Cup team arrive
in Dublin, Ireland

Lehman is likely to pair Woods with Jim Furyk and Mickelson with di Marco in two of his pairings, while Woosnam is toying with playing Swedish rookies Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson together.

 

In recent times, the biennial clash between the Americans and the Europeans has become heated and although both captains will be going out to win, they have been playing down the underlying bitter rivalry between the teams.

 

"Win or lose we walk off that 18th green and we all shake hands," said Woosnam.

 

"Above all we want another week of fun. Let's enjoy the contest, the craic and the fantastic Irish hospitality," added the Welshman.

 

"We are not dealing with world peace or AIDS in Africa. We are playing a game," Lehman concurred.

 

"It is an important game that everyone wants to win but at the end of the day it is just a game."