Here They Come, the Mrs. Americas
By Stephanie Wei under Ryder Cup

The wives and partners of the United States Ryder Cup team L-R: Melissa Lehman (Tom Lehman), Amy Mickelson (Phil Mickelson), Tabitha Furyk (Jim Furyk), Robin Love (Davis Love III), Kandi Harris (Hunter Mahan), Sybil Kuchar (Matt Kuchar), Christina Zimmer (Jeff Overton), Lisa Cink (Stewart Cink), Lisa Pavin (Corey Pavin), Kim Johnson (Zach Johnson), Alexandra Browne (Rickie Fowler), Angie Watson (Bubba Watson), Amanda Caulder (Dustin Johnson), Michelle Mell (Paul Goydos) pose for a photograph during the 2010 Ryder Cup Dinner at Cardiff Castle on September 29, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales.

Leading up to the actual golf, the golfers and their significant others partake in the pomp and pageantry, packed with lots of photo opportunities. On Wednesday night they attended the most formal of them all, the Ryder Cup gala concert at Millennium Stadium.

Last week at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Amanda Caulder (Dustin Johnson’s girlfriend) and Christina Zimmer (Jeff Overton’s girlfriend) were spotted in the elevator at the Ritz Carlton in their ball gowns — they were showing each other their dresses before the festivities in Wales.

Many of the ladies enjoyed shopping in New York City for the occasion. Like Angie Watson, the former basketball player for the University of Georgia stands at 6’4″.

“I have the challenge of finding a dress that’s long enough in a short period of time,” said Watson, who wore a Jay Ahr design. “Bergdorf was great because they cater to a lot of models. I haven’t been this dressed up since my wedding day.”

Caulder, who wore Herve Leger, and Zimmer, who donned David Meister, also bought their dresses in the Big Apple. The PGA gives the players a chunk of money for their expenses, which includes pocket change for the gowns.

Kandi Harris, Hunter Mahan’s fiancee, went shopping with her mother in NYC. They went to every fabulous store on Madison Avenue, but she only settled on a red dress, which she had shipped back home to Texas. When she tried it on again, she decided it wasn’t the right one. So, Harris actually went to the only store that she hadn’t originally gone to in Texas and found a blue Govani design.

“I’ve got blue eyes so i really wanted blue,” she said. “That’s what I kind of had my heart set on.”

Harris laughed and added, “I know Amanda wanted to get a green dress and Dustin [Johnson] said no. He said that Rory McIlroy’s girl should wear a green one.”

Meanwhile, Sybi Kuchar’s search for a dress was a family affair with Matt and their three small children, which is “always an adventure.” Not a fashion addict, as she’ll tell you, she said, “It’s Carlos Miele. I thought, oh it’s a cool dress, but I don’t know much about design.”

Well, I do (at least enough). And I told her she had fantastic taste, especially for someone who isn’t a fashion junkie.

As an aside, I kept wondering about the rather large Tiger in the room. The recently-divorced Tiger Woods was supposed to be the only player without a date. But turned out, Steve Stricker’s wife, Nicki, couldn’t make it at the last minute because she couldn’t find anyone to watch the kids. Stricker will also likely be Tiger’s playing partner in the doubles matches.

Now the pair also have each other for the off-the-course functions — Tiger and Stricker, a love story!

P.S. I love this stuff, but I’m even ready for the golf to start.

[Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images]