America’s world number one Scottie Scheffler got the 44th Ryder Cup underway in the morning foursomes on Friday as huge, colourful crowds brought a party atmosphere to the first tee under clear blue skies at the Marco Simone course in Rome.

Scheffler’s drive slid into the rough, banked by massive crowds all along the fairway, but after partner Sam Burns failed to find the green Scheffler’s brilliant chip lipped the cup to halve the hole with Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton.

The first of what will be many huge roars over the weekend came soon after for the following group when Viktor Hovland holed a chip from 20 yards to put Europe one up in the second match.

Hovland, who claimed an albatross hole in one on the par-four fifth hole in Thursday’s practice, high-fived partner Ludvig Aberg as they went one-up against Max Homa and Brian Harman.

Speaking on the first tee, European captain Luke Donald said: “It’s unbelievable. For me it’s the best team event in all sports. Look at the crowd, the energy the passion.

“We’re two for two in fairways so far – good start.”

Donald has changed Europe’s opening strategy as he bids to extend their remarkable 30-year unbeaten home run, choosing to start with foursomes – where both players hit alternate shots with the same ball – at home for the first time since 1997. The fourball format will follow in the afternoon.

Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka were taking on Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa in the third match, with the morning lineup completed by Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood – a partnership already dubbed ‘Fleetwood Mac’ – taking on Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.