Ryder Cup – Team Europe Player Breakdowns

Ryder Cup – Team Europe Player Breakdowns

24 September 2023

On the back of the Walker Cup and Solheim Cup, we now look to the Ryder Cup where Team USA (LINK) take on Team Europe at Marco Simone, Rome, Italy. 

Just as we broke down stats of three players playing in the Solheim from Team Europe and Team USA, we have done the same for the Ryder Cup. Here are three players from the European side with stats that will send shivers down American spines.

We looked at Viktor Hovland’s stats in the leadup to the FedEx Cup Finale blog and could see an immense shift in his game. 

Looking at his season stats compared to his course record final round, 61, at the BMW Championship Hovland has found something special in his game and would go on to win the Tour Championship by five strokes.

Hovland still loses out around the green and with the putter in hand, ranking 93rd and 51st in strokes gained for these areas. However, we can see a massive difference in consistency in every other aspect of his game.

Now ranked inside the top 10 for the following:

  • Strokes Gained: Total – 8th
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-green – 5th
  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-tee – 7th
  • Strokes Gained: Approach the green – 10th

Viktor has climbed the leaderboard for all of these stats and with his recent form winning back-to-back on Tour, he will be a problem for Team USA.

Jon Rahm, ironically nicknamed after the American action movie, Rahmbo, will be looking for blood in Rome. Team USA will be glad that they are a 40 minute drive from the Colosseum as Rahm is known for being a fiery competitor with four wins in four months, including a green jacket at The Masters.

With a tied second place at The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, Rahm knows what it takes to compete at the highest level at various course types and will no doubt take to Marco Simone like a duck to water. 

Finishing the regular season first in FedEx Cup points emphasises how solid Jon’s game has been this year although he has dropped down the rankings in some areas of late. Interestingly, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March Rahm dropped 26 places in Strokes Gained off the tee after being first for months. 

Earlier in the year Jon was ranked in the top 10 for putting but has recently dropped to 35th in the rankings, still a strong position, and we are confident Rahmbo will return to his Tour leading putting stats. 

Being ranked first on Tour for fairway proximity as well as proximity from over 100 yards, it is only a matter of time until the former world number one starts to sink more putts. 

Jon still ranks highly in the following areas:

  • Strokes Gained: Total 6th
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-green 6th
  • Strokes Gained: Approach the Green 4th

With plenty of time to dial in his game, Rahmbo may run riot in Rome.

There are many Ryder Cup ‘Rookies’ playing this year like Brian Harman, although when compared to Ludvig Aberg, it doesn’t seem quite fitting for all these players to be branded ‘Rookies’. Remarkably, Aberg is yet to play in a Major but is playing in the biggest team event in golf. 

His impressive form throughout his rookie season as well as a win at the Omega European Masters would appear to have secured his place in Luke Donald’s team. Beating Major winners and fellow Team Europe players like Matt Fitzpatrick, Aberg has made a big impression on the golfing world.

Whilst not officially ranked due to his number of rounds played, Ludvig’s stats from the events he has played are up there with the best. Average proximity to the hole from all lie types is 4ft closer than the Tour average, strokes gained makes for interesting reading:

  • Strokes Gained: Total 0.958
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-green 0.801
  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-tee 0.903
  • Strokes Gained: Approach the Green -0.151
  • Strokes Gained: Around the Green 0.114
  • Strokes Gained: Putting 0.157

With the exception of approaches to the green, Ludvig is gaining strokes in every area and in his rookie season that is an achievement in itself. Hitting 63% of fairways and 69% of greens, it will be interesting to see how his career develops and the Ryder Cup will be an invaluable experience. 

Sergio Garcia is the only player with a similar start to their career, playing in the Ryder Cup during their rookie season, however Sergio had played in Majors. Regardless, if Ludvig’s career follows a similar trajectory, Team Europe will be very pleased – Sergio Garcia Ryder Cup Record 22-12-7!

It seems like the Rookie Ryder Cup this year with 14 of the 24 competitors making their debut or having only played in one before.

It all kicks off on September 25th!

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Some more Ones to Watch

Rory McIlroy – Ryder Cup Record – 12-12-4

Justin Rose – Ryder Cup Record 13-8-2


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