The countdown is almost over.

At exactly 07.40 (BST) tomorrow morning (Friday September 23rd) the first shot will be struck in the foursomes and one of the most eagerly awaited international sporting events of the year will get underway at the glorious Killeen Castle, in Co. Meath, Ireland.

The Solheim Cup has come a long way since it was inaugurated at Lake Nona Country Club, Florida, back in 1990 and this year as the two teams representing Europe and America get started they will be watched by a TV audience measured in millions and by a large and enthusiastic crowd on site at one of the premier inland courses in Ireland.

The 12th Solheim Cup has been on everyone’s minds ever since the last match ended with a 16-12 US victory at Rich Harvest Farms, Illinois, two years ago. That triumph gave the Americans an emphatic 8-3 lead in the series but this year, in all likelihood, the match will be closer than ever as two strong teams from opposite sides of the Atlantic battle it out for a trophy named in honour of Karsten Solheim, the founder of the Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, makers of PING golf clubs, and the driving force behind this magnificent biennial contest.

The similarities between The Solheim Cup and the Ryder Cup are marked and the unique status of both events is understood by all true golf fans the world over. One is without doubt the most eminent team event in men’s golf and the other is its equivalent in the women’s game.

That is why come 07.40 tomorrow morning the golfing world will be on tenterhooks and the excitement will continue to build as the action unfolds through the two series of foursomes and fourballs on Friday and Saturday.

Come Sunday the drama will reach its climax as the two teams contest the 12 singles which will decide the destination of the splendid pure crystal Solheim Cup trophy for the next two years.

The time has come to hold onto your hats.

It promises to be quite a show.