The European Ryder Cup team has set off on their mission to win the trophy for the fourth successive time with captain Nick Faldo in confident mood.
|European Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo wants to keep hold of the trophy [GALLO/GETTY]
The biennial event starts on Friday at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, with the United States fielding a team with six Ryder Cup rookies.
"It's surreal, I've been thinking about this for the last couple of years and now here we are popping down to the airport," European captain Faldo, speaking on the Heathrow tarmac, said.
Faldo said there would be no coaching or planning discussions on the plane, with the players left with their friends and family to relax.
Faldo, however, will continue to mull over his options for the three-day competition.
"I'm the front of the ship, there are a lot of things going on, my mind has been spinning for a long time now," he said.
"I've been studying the pairings for the last couple of weeks and I've got a couple of formulas in my mind.
"I've got 12 guys playing great. It's great for Robert (Karlsson) to go and win, it's good timing," he added after the Swede's triumph in the Mercedes Benz International on Sunday, his first European Tour win for two years.