Ryder Cup rivalry still fierce - Love
For two years of build-up and two days of preview press conferences, the overwhelming theme of this week's Ryder Cup has seemed to be fun and mutual respect.
But after Ian Poulter questioned: "How can you can be great mates with somebody, but, boy, do you want to kill them in Ryder Cup?", United States captain Davis Love admitted it is inevitable that he and opposite number Jose Maria Olazabal will clash at some point.
Love said: "It's intense. Do we want to pummel them? Yes we do. We want to win. You know what, Olly and I will go toe-to-toe at some point because it's intense. It'll be about carts going over a bridge or he has more carts than me or something."
He added: "Olly and I will get testy, but it will be respectful and for the crowd to be fair is ultimately the goal."
With more and more European players basing themselves in America - only three team members were with Olazabal on the team flight from London to Chicago on Monday - Lee Westwood concedes there is "definitely less of a them-and-us type thing" now between the players.
Previous contests have already seen both teams socialising together once the match is concluded, a trend Love stressed would continue on Sunday evening at Medinah, regardless of the outcome.
Whether the crowd is fair remains to be seen, with all 24 players expecting a sport-mad city like Chicago to provide raucous galleries eager for the home side to regain the trophy and claim only a second US win in six attempts.
Martin Kaymer felt Tuesday's first practice round had been quieter than expected, but Olazabal could feel the atmosphere building on Wednesday as he looked ahead to Thursday's opening ceremony.
"It's great to be at this position and getting closer to Friday's matches," said Olazabal, who experienced the 'War on the Shore' at Kiawah Island in 1991 and the 'Battle of Brookline' in 1999 as a player.
"There is not much more room to manoeuvre at the moment, so everything is set. Players are ready. We are all eager to see the first match on that first tee."