US golfers arrive for 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor
The American golf stars who will take on Europe in the 2010 Ryder Cup have arrived in south Wales.
US team captain Corey Pavin said they were "just glad to be here" after landing at Cardiff Airport at 1105 BST.
They were met by European captain Colin Montgomerie and cup officials ahead of a press conference at the main terminal building.
Their arrival starts the build-up to the three-day tournament at the Celtic Manor resort near Newport on Friday.
The event will place Wales in the spotlight with a huge worldwide audience tuning in to see Tiger Woods and other golf superstars compete for the biennial title.
Pavin said: "We had a nice ride over - I think we are all a little tired having an overnight flight.
"We're just glad to be here and I would like to thank all of Wales for the hospitality that everybody has shown."
He said his team would spend Monday resting and relaxing before the practice rounds start on Tuesday.
Montgomerie said it was "an hour and a privilege" to welcome the team to Wales.
Among the many international visitors in south Wales for the competition will be the Prince of Wales and the European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso.
Prince Charles will have lunch with the two team captains and undertake a tour the Celtic Manor golf course on Wednesday, the last practice day.
He will also attend a dinner at Cardiff Castle, where all 24 team members will also be present.
Meanwhile, home-grown international entertainment stars Dame Shirley Bassey, Catherine Zeta Jones and Catherine Jenkins will take part in a Welcome to Wales concert at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Wednesday, when the prince will also be in the audience.
But the week will not be all about celebrities.
On Tuesday golf professionals will hand out free lessons to spectators at the Celtic Manor course.
Gareth Lewis, manager of coach education and the PGA in Wales, believes the PGA Game Improvement Centre, will be among the most popular attractions at Celtic Manor.
"It means golf fans coming to Celtic Manor can not only enjoy the drama of seeing the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in action but also receive some expert tuition on their own games from some of the leading coaches in Wales."
The tournament has also also provided a bonus for thousands of children in Newport and Cardiff.
All schools in both cities are closed for an inset day on Friday, both to ease traffic congestion and give pupils a chance to watch the event.
Some 45,000 spectators are expected on each of the Ryder Cup's three competition days.
The assembly government has spent £27m on infrastructure projects associated with improving transport links to the Celtic Manor site.
Former First Minister Rhodri Morgan, who helped mastermind the bid, defended the amount of public money spent on the tournament.
"It's a unique partnership - everything on the course Terry [Sir Terry Matthews, owner of the Celtic Manor] has paid for, everything off the course we paid for.
"What we get out of it is trying to overcome this historic profile gap which has always puzzled people - why have Americans heard of Ireland, they've heard of Scotland, they've heard of England and they've never heard of Wales."
For the first time, visitors crossing the two Severn Bridges into Wales will be able to pay the toll by debit or card as temporary chip-and-pin machines have been installed.