"I thought it would be special for two Kentuckians to lead the charge out here to try to win the Cup back," Perry said. "I just think with the energy and the excitement, I just think it's going to put a lot of pressure on the Europeans."
Said Azinger on Wednesday with regard to their potential pairing: "If I put those two out there, they're going off first."
The plan has its risks. By failing to separate the two sure-fire crowd favorites, Azinger risks diffusing and diluting his home-field advantage. Moreover, Holmes, who ranks second on the PGA Tour in driving distance but is wild at times, might not be the best candidate for Friday morning's alternate-shot format.
But as they might say hereabouts, folks have got a hankering to see these boys do some hammerin', and if nothing else, Azinger is feeding the spectacular speculation.
"It's a match that America wants to see, I suppose, a bit like Phil and Tiger in Detroit," European star Lee Westwood said. "It can be very successful and get the crowd on your side, or it can go the way it did at Detroit. You know, that's the chances that captains take, I suppose."
The point was hard to dispute, really. Take it from the voice of experience.
Said Mickelson: "It could go either way."
But consider the upside for the underdog Americans, who have lost five of the past six competitions and seemingly have little to lose. If they win the match, and the Americans have struggled in the early Friday matched for two decades, it could ignite the entire team. Not to mention the 40,000 partisan fans on hand daily. Perry says the plan feels foolproof to him.
"No, we're going to feed off the energy of the gallery," he said. "I know 100 percent it's going to be a great feeling. If we get behind, they're going to pump us up. If we get ahead, they're going to root us on."
For good reason. In an era when many of golf's greats are the product of privileged lifestyles, Perry and Holmes, 26, are practically the same guy, separated by a generation.
They use the same swing coach, Matt Killen, who was a friend of Perry's son. Both were raised in small Kentucky towns and neither looked like sure-fire successes as young players. Unlike some other vaunted Kentucky products, like the completely dissimilar Wynonna and Ashley Judd -- are they really sisters with common DNA? -- these two are definitely cut from the same cloth.
For instance, Furyk was only half-kidding about the interpreter thing.
"We understand each other," Perry explained. "I can pretty much look at him and know what he's thinking. I think it's pretty neat, what he's feeling in his golf game. Even though I'm (22) years older than him, I understand him, and I just think it's just the Kentucky way, the southern way."
Holmes, who was largely taught by his father, takes equally great pride in his everyman roots.
"I came from a small town, and it shows the people in Kentucky and in small towns that you don't have to be in a big city, you don't have to have the nicest golf course, you don't have to have the nicest stuff, you don't have to have everything be perfect to be able to be successful," he said. "You can just go out, work hard, do your best and be committed and good things can happen to you."
Perry's back story is Kentucky to the core, too. He grew up playing a nine-hole track in Franklin, where his father planted all the trees with a tobacco planter. Like Holmes, he attended college in Kentucky. While Holmes has since relocated to the golf hotbed of Orlando, Perry still lives in Franklin, where be built a public course with his own funds for the townsfolk.
They aren't kin, but they speak the same language of loyalty. Perry donates a percentage of his earnings to a Kentucky college and serves as deacon of a local church. Holmes uses a boyhood friend and playing partner, Brandon Parsons, as his caddie.
"When we were younger, my parents didn't get babysitters, they just dropped us off at the golf course, and we played 54 holes a day," said Holmes, who began playing on his local high school team while in the third grade. "We'd start in the morning and play 36, go swimming and then go back out and play another 18. That was my summer. We just played golf all the time.
"I think that definitely helped my game. I never really had a swing instructor until I turned pro, so it was basically just I taught myself and I was out on the golf course, and if I was hitting it bad, I had to figure it out."
With the crush of attention he has received this year -- Perry famously skipped chances at playing in two majors to focus on earning points to make the U.S. side -- Perry had to find a way to satisfy his growing list of fans. He estimates he'll have 100 friends or family members in the gallery, most of them using tickets he bought personally.
Golfweek magazine wrote a note recently that Perry was in dire need of extra ducats and the phone at his public facility, Country Creek Golf Course, hasn't stopped ringing since.