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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 September, 2004, 22:15 GMT 23:15 UK
Friday's Ryder Cup diary
By John Mathews
BBC Sport at Oakland Hills

Colin Montgomerie meets fans at the 2004 Ryder Cup
The new slimline Montgomerie is a hit in the US
Everybody knows Colin Montgomerie has had quite an up and down year, so let's not go there again.

Focusing on the positives, Monty has been moved by how warm the crowds have been to him already at Oakland Hills.

And the reason for the American change of heart towards the man they used to call Mrs Doubtfire?

He thinks it's because he has lost weight.

"This is the country of dieting and diets," Montgomerie explains.

"When you see someone in a public position succeed in achieving what a lot of them set out to do, they actually respect you."

Fat chance of any heckling then if this love-in continues.

Metro Detroit and its people are winning Ryder Cup visitors over with their effortless charm and politeness.

Locals here are keen to stress Detroit is on the mend from its troubled past and all the anecdotal evidence seems to suggest they are doing a fine PR job for their own city.

The Ryder Cup has been good for Detroit and so far, vice-versa.

The city expects to generate around $150m from hosting golf's greatest team tournament.

Baseball's All-Star Game is being held in Detroit next year, followed by the 2006 Super Bowl and the 2008 USPGA Championship, so things are looking up for the Motor City, despite the NHL ice hockey lock-out.

Donald Trump proved unflappable at the opening ceremony

Golf is like no other sport when it comes to upholding fine traditions.

Small wonder then that the opening ceremony proved to be every bit as dull and forced as all of its predecessors right across the sporting spectrum.

Despite an impressive-ish cast of characters, the real star of the show turned out to be toe-curling early host Donald Trump.

Well, credit where it's due, the praise goes to the mega-rich entrepreneur's hairdresser.

How his carefully-coiffured locks stayed resolutely in place in that stiff Michigan breeze will remain a mystery, but it was entertaining to watch.

And that set it apart from everything else on show.

Now the super-hyped build-up is over and the Ryder Cup is finally getting under way, it's worth pausing to reflect on just how far this event has come in recent times.

With every passing match, the Ryder Cup just seems to get bigger and bigger, the level of interest outstripping each contest that went before it.

If you were looking for a barometer of that rise, yesterday's opening ceremony included appearances by an Oscar-nominated actor (Samuel L Jackson) and a man who won six gold medals at the Olympic Games (Michael Phelps).

To think, this was a competition Tom Weiskopf once refused to play in because he would rather go elk hunting.

Thursday's Ryder Cup diary
16 Sep 04  |  Golf
Wednesday's Ryder Cup diary
15 Sep 04  |  Golf
Tuesday's Ryder Cup diary
14 Sep 04  |  Golf

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