Partners in the swing: Meet the Ryder Cup Wabs*

The K Club in Ireland plays host this week as Europe's golfers defend their title against the US. What of the women who will watch their partners battle it out? (*and that's Wives and Birdies)
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Emma Loferen & Henrik Stenson

From a genealogist's point of view, at least, the future of Swedish golf looks bright: Stenson will marry his long-term girlfriend, Emma, a scratch-handicapper, at the end of the year. The couple have already shown that they're equipped to triumph in the face of adversity. When they arrived in Dublin this week, Emma's luggage failed to appear. "No problem," she said. "I'll just have to go to Dublin and buy new ones."

Diane Antonopoulos & Luke Donald

Before this year's US Open, Donald gave a joint interview with his then girlfriend, Diane Antonopoulous. "The philosophy me and Diane share is that someone is always going to play well at a major, and that person might as well be me," he said. You don't talk about shared "philosophies" unless you are on the slippery slope towards married life. Donald and Antonopoulos announced their engagement a few weeks later.

Jocelyn Hefner & Paul Casey

A few years back, wild-child Casey said of our transatlantic cousins: "Americans are stupid; I hate them." Now he's going out with one. Jocelyn spends her time at home in Scottsdale, Arizona, schooling horses for international show-jumping competitions. Asked about her boyfriend, Jocelyn says: "He's always happy feeding the horses and helping with mucking out. It gets him completely away from golf."

Glendryth & Ian Woosnam

"Woosie" married Glendryth, his childhood sweetheart, in 1983, when she was 21. She has since borne him three children. The formidable former nurse, a veteran of several Ryder cups, believes the duties of captain's wife are to be taken seriously. Not only has she arranged for a team of Harrods beauticians to be flown to Ireland, she's also made sure that each European birdie will have 18 new pieces from Paul Costello hanging in her wardrobe when she arrives at the K-Club.

Caroline & Padraig Harrington

Effortlessly elegant Caroline is her husband's full-time psychologist, statistician and general organiser. The daughter of a Dublin accountant, she met Padraig at an amateur tournament when they were both just 16. They married in 1997. In May, she accused her out-of-form hubby of losing his hunger for golf. Padraig's game swiftly returned to its best. "Getting some home truths from Caroline was just what I needed," he said.

Alison & Paul McGinley

Alison, herself a former professional, met Paul on the golf course and married him shortly afterwards, in 1996. She spends most of her time on tour, filling column-inches with admiring comments about her "svelte figure and soft blonde locks". Ladbrokes rates the yummy mummy Alison - the couple have three children: Niamh, Killian and Maia - an 8-1 chance to be the most photographed GWAG of the tournament.

Laurae & Lee Westwood

Laurae was introduced to Lee at the 1995 Scottish Open through her brother Andrew Coltart, a pro golfer. They married in 1999 and have two children, Samuel and Poppy. Laurae gave up her job as a beautician to become a full-time GWAG. It's not all fun and games, though: Laurae is in charge of keeping Lee off the pies. "She's been working with Gill, my nutritionist, to make sure I keep to the right kind of foods," he says.

And in the American corner

Tom and Melissa Lehman

The deeply religious United States captain credits his rock-solid marriage to brunette Melissa for his golfing success. Indeed Mrs Lehman's support extended to acting as his caddie during the 1998 Nissan Open when his regular bag carrier suffered broken ribs in a basketball game. The couple met on a blind date 22 years ago and have become stalwarts on the PGA tour social scene. Described variously by observers of the tour as "glossily attractive" with an "irrepressible" personality, the perma-tanned Mrs Lehman yesterday presented prizes at a race meeting at the Curragh.

Amy and Chris Di Marco

Archetypal childhood sweethearts - they met at high school and went to the prom together. Still, it took them 11 years to get round to marrying. Amy caddies for her husband, and favours an elegant if understated style off the course. She takes a leading role in her husband's charitable work for Rock - Reaching Out to Cancer Kids.

Chad and Amy Campbell

Better known to her fans as Amy Lepard for her throaty, vocal style, the on-off elementary school teacher turned gospel star is one of the most glamorous wives on the Tour. The sultry Texan raised eyebrows when she declared that "golf was boring" and makes no mention of her multimillion-dollar husband on her website. Caused a mass outbreak of harumphing when she dashed on to the green during one tournament wearing a black miniskirt and knee-high boots.

Jim and Tabitha Furyk

Famed for her halter tops, which attract the attention of passing cameramen while her balding husband focuses on adding to his career millions, the mother-of-two has been described as the ultimate golfing trophy wife. The Furyk's are popular hosts, inviting some of the biggest names in golf to dine with them. Tabitha's beef tenderloin has legendary status, though she is as happy downing tequilas at post-event parties.

Phil and Amy Mickelson

The mother-of-three is once said to have modelled for the teenage boy's bible Sports Illustrated, Swimsuit Edition, before settling down as a full-time cheerleader to her university sweetheart. The couple met when they shared a dormitory, and Amy has now developed a highly recognisable "American Mom" style with her modest high-necked tops and tailored suits.

David and Sonya Toms

Another veteran of Sports Illustrated, appearing in 2003 in a high-cut white bikini and even higher black heels. It earned her a legion of admirers but was a far cry from her more down-to-earth appearances at the golf majors when she is better known for her print dresses and comfy jumpers. Married her husband in 1991, long before he hit the golf big time, she is dubbed the GWAG with a conscience for her high-profile role in running her husband's charitable foundation that provides life chances for at-risk boys and girls. Also teaches at a Methodist Sunday school and enjoys cooking for her husband and son Carter.

Tiger and Elin Woods

When the Swedish model Elin Nordegren married the world's most exciting golfer in 2004, she knew she was signing up to a life in the public eye. Elin has since been pictured in everything from Gucci to - of course - Nike, the brand so lucratively endorsed by Tiger, who is on course to be the first sports billionaire. At their wedding in Barbados, he laid on 10,000 black roses.

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