Stylish down to the last detail: Team Europe’s Ryder Cup team takes the stage at the opening ceremony
The Ryder Cup stars took center stage at the opening ceremony of the tournament on Thursday night as they prepared to compete for the most prestigious golf trophy – and their wives were stylishly wary as they joined them at the gala dinner.
Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter and Viktor Hovland were among the golfers from Team Europe who wore suits on a glamorous evening as they were joined by their partners to kick off the 43rd Ryder Cup in Whistling Straits, Wisconsin – led by Captain Padraig Harrington.
In a light-hearted ceremony, Harrington and his American counterpart Steve Stricker announced the pairings for Friday’s foursomes session, as both leaders delivered speeches to a cheering crowd.
Wearing designer heels and elegant dresses, the ladies surprised onlookers Wednesday night at the American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin.
Over the next three days, as their husbands – as players, captain and vice-captain – take on the Americans at the nearby Whistling Straits golf course, the WAGs will play a supporting role.
Team Europe took the stage at the Ryder Cup Opening Ceremony at a breezy gala dinner on Thursday night
The team – including vice-captain Robert Karlsson, who was joined by his wife Ebba – looked stylish in their suits as they took the stage
The wives and girlfriends were just above Team Europe for the 43rd edition of the prestigious tournament
Captain Padraig Harrington gave a speech at the opening event as he announced the combinations for Friday’s foursome
American and European wives and girlfriends: From left to right Helen Storey (wife of Lee Westwood), Irene Scholz (Martin Kaymer), Angela Akins Garcia (Sergio Garcia), Diane Antonopoulos (Luke Donald), Katie Poulter (Ian Poulter), Emma Lofgren (Henrik Stenson), Pollyanna Woodward (Paul Casey), Kelley Cahill (Jon Rahm), Kristin Stape (Graeme McDowell), Caroline Harrington (Padraig Harrington), Erica Stoll (Rory McIlroy), Emily Braisher (Tyrrell Hatton), Wendy Honner (Shane Lowry), Clare Fleetwood (Tommy Fleetwood), Ebba Karlsson (Robert Karlsson)
This was done on the course itself. Helen Storey has been looking after husband Lee Westwood’s golf clubs as his caddy for four years now, but Sam, the star’s son, will take over duties in the US so she can be with the other WAGs.
She was a lucky charm for Westwood as he took another European Tour win shortly after she took on the role.
Another of the WAGs is a talented golfer himself. But then Angela Akins Garcia, wife of Spanish star Sergio, comes from a family of sports stars.
Her father is former American Football quarterback Marty Akins, while her cousin Drew Brees is current quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.
Emma Lofgren, partner of Vice-Captain Henrik Stenson, also has a sports background. The Swedish couple met at the University of South Carolina, where they both played for the golf team, and she has been working as a coach ever since.
There was a star from Team Europe who showed up in America without a partner to cheer him on. Fortunately for single Viktor Hovland, 24, two teammates’ WAGs kept him from feeling left out. Angela Akins Garcia and Emma Lofgren posed with the Norwegian during the couples photo shoot. He beamed a huge smile as the couple planted a kiss on each of his cheeks. The partners of two other players on the team, Matt Fitzpatrick and Bernd Wiesberger, did not go to dinner.
Ireland’s Captain Padraig Harrington and Team Europe and wife Caroline Harrington pose for a photo during the Team Europe Gala Dinner ahead of the 43rd Ryder Cup
Vice Captain Luke Donald of England and Team Europe and wife Diane Antonopoulos pose for a photo (left) and Paul Casey of England and Team Europe smiles for the camera with wife Pollyanna Woodward (right)
Helen Storey has been looking after husband Lee Westwood’s (pictured together) golf clubs as his caddy for four years now – but the star’s son, Sam, will be taking over duties in the US so she can be with the other WAGs
Northern Irish superstar Rory McIlroy has the sport’s supporting cast to thank for finding his wife (pictured together). He met Erica Stoll at the 2012 Ryder Cup in Medinah, Illinois, when he famously overslept from jet lag and she offered him a ride to the track.
Northern Irish superstar Rory McIlroy has the sport’s supporting cast to thank for finding his wife. He met Erica Stoll at the 2012 Ryder Cup in Medinah, Illinois, when he famously overslept from jet lag.
Erica, an employee of Ryder Cup organizer PGA of America at the time, offered him a ride to the course. The couple married in April 2017 and have a one-year-old daughter, Poppy.
Still, it’s not all glamor in the world of professional golf. As Emily Braisher, golf blogger and wife of English pro Tyrrell Hatton, has admitted: ‘The WAG lifestyle may seem nothing short of glamor and bliss, but in reality it can sometimes be difficult to live out of a suitcase.’
And Katie Poulter, wife of veteran pro Ian, owes the sport one of its most embarrassing moments.
She once accidentally issued a $100 bill signed by golf legend Arnold Palmer, which her husband kept in a safe deposit box at home. “I have no idea what she did with it,” he later joked. “She probably went shopping.”