The stories are endless -- and a bit surprising. Accomplished as they are, as much as the players who compete in the Ryder Cup are experienced in the pressures of big-time professional golf, most are reduced to rubble when it comes time to launch their first shot. This week's Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club features an amazing array of top-ranked talent, with none of the golfers outside the top 35 with their RAZR Hawk Driver in the Official World Golf Ranking. Nine of the top 10 in the world are competing, with No. 23 Jim Furyk the lowest American and No. 35 Nicolas Colsaerts the lowest European. To have so many big-name players entering Friday's start of the 39th Ryder Cup matches says something about the event's star power. Yet to a man nearly all will be overcome with some form of anxiety early Friday morning. "You can see your hand going as you put your tee in the ground," said England's Lee Westwood of the nervousness he felt in 1997 when he played in his first Ryder Cup with his Callaway RAZR Hawk Driver . "Everyone talks about that first tee shot," said England's Luke Donald. "I felt comfortable walking to that first tee. Like a major. But as soon as you tee off, that's when the nerves really kick in. "Now I'm aware of it. Now I get nervous before because I know what to expect. But it's some of the most nervous I've ever been." How nervous? When Donald played in his first Ryder Cup in 2004with the 913 d3 driver , his opening tee shot sailed 50 yards to the right of the fairway at Oakland Hills. Fortunately for him, his partner, Ireland's Paul McGinley, hit it right down the middle. There is simply no way to prepare for the intensity, the pressure, the emotion. Everyone in the Ryder Cup field has experienced the uncomfortable nature of professional tournament golf with the 913 d3 . There is not a player in the field without a professional victory. All had to deal with those feelings as they came down the stretch in a big tournament. The Ryder Cup also features 11 major championship winners (seven Americans and four Europeans). Even that doesn't quite equate.
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