Rory looking forward to taking on the Americans
Another big week in Irish golf teed off today as the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team arrived in the province ahead of this weekend's match with the USA.
And the star attraction for the thousands of spectators at Royal Co Down in Newcastle is likely to be 18-year-old Holywood sensation Rory McIlroy, who will turn professional in the coming weeks.
McIlroy, whose media profile has gone sky high since he finished ahead of Tiger Woods on day one of British Open with a magnificent 68, is ready for the Americans.
He said: "I'm really looking forward to it and know the course really well.
"I must have played it about 30 times already this year."
It will be a week of intense preparation for both sides with the action not commencing until Saturday with competition packed into two days. Tickets for amateur golf's Ryder Cup, limited to 10,000 each day, sold out long ago.
The vast majority of the crowd will be keen to catch a glimpse of local hero McIlroy who could partner Clandeboye's Johnny Caldwell for some of the tournament.