Seve Ballesteros seeks to retain The Seve Trophy for Continental Europe against a team from Great Britain and Ireland as this matchplay contest unfolds at Druids Glen in Co Wicklow, starting on Friday.
In the inaugural event two years ago at Sunningdale Europe beat GB&I by one point with Seve toppling Colin Montgomerie in a crucial singles match. The Scot and his men are out for revenge.
Ballesteros and Montgomerie return as captains of the ten-man teams in a series of foursomes, fourballs, greensomes and singles. Both teams contain four rookies including Scotland's Andrew Oldcorn, who received a late call up after David Howell cracked a bone in his arm.
Oldcorn, the reigning Volvo PGA Champion, was involved in a tussle with Steve Webster for the final automatic place which went down to the wire in the final counting event, the Madeira Island Open. So it’s a reprieve after losing out.
Oldcorn joins Paul Casey, Paul McGinley and Webster as a rookie alongside Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Paul Lawrie, Montgomerie, Ian Woosnam and Monty’s wildcard Lee Westwood, leading points scorer two years ago with four out of five.
The Continental team has experienced campaigners like Ballesteros, Thomas Björn, Alex Cejka, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Robert Karlsson and José Maria Olazábal being joined by newcomers Niclas Fasth, Mathias Grönberg, Raphaël Jacquelin and Thomas Levet.
The event will be played on the 7,041 yard Druids Glen course that has already staged the Murphy's Irish Open on four occasions, with Montgomerie winning there twice and once missing out in a playoff with Sergio Garcia - controversially not competing this week.
Ithe course opened five years ago and is one of the finest parkland layouts in Europe. Course designers Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock used the existing rugged and varied landscape to produce a magnificent setting offering a worthy challenge, starting with greensomes on Friday morning.