10 August 2023
The countdown is on, with only 50 days to go until Europe meet the USA in the 44th edition of the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Italy.
The USA will be looking to defend the famous trophy they won in 2021 at Whistling Straits in what was a resounding 19-9 victory.
Europe will be led this time around by former World Number 1 Luke Donald who will be assisted by Thomas Bjorn, Nicolas Colsaerts, Edoardo Molinari & Spanish legend Jose Maria Olazabal – the winning captain in 2012 at the ‘Miracle of Medinah’.
Team USA are captained by former Open & Masters Champion Zach Johnson, with vice-captains Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Davis Love III and Fred Couples completing the backroom team.
At the moment the three automatic qualification places from the European Points List belong to Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm & Robert MacIntyre. Rahm & McIlroy are confirmed on the team, whilst MacIntyre will be looking to put the disappointment of Royal Liverpool behind him and build on his runners-up finish at the Genesis Scottish Open last month to keep his place.
Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood occupy the other automatic qualification places for being the top three in the World Points List.
With four weeks left however players such as Adrian Meronk, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose, Matt Fitzpatrick, Sepp Straka, Victor Perez & Rasmus Hojaard are on the verge and will be looking to finish the season strongly to make the team.
Donald, of course as captain does have the luxury of six Captains Picks this time around, compared to the three Padraig Harrington had in 2021, and it will certainly be interesting to see who makes the cut.
Names such as Harrington himself had been floated after a strong couple of rounds at the Scottish Open, but it is more than likely Donald will make up the team with the aforementioned names currently sitting just outside the automatic qualification places.
As you would expect World Number 1 Scottie Scheffler joins Wyndham Clark & Brian Harman in the first three places for the USA, with both Clark and Harman lifting their maiden Majors at the US Open & Open Championship.
The other three automatic places are currently held by 5-Time Major winner Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay & Xander Schauffele.
There are several for the US on the cusp, including 3-Time Major winner Jordan Spieth, Max Homa, Cameron Young & the in-from Keegan Bradley.
Like Donald, Johnson also has the luxury of six Captains Picks – with much speculation as to whether LIV golfers Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, & Dustin Johnson could be included now that they are eligible for selection.
Justin Thomas, who has struggled this season has a solid Ryder Cup record, as does Rickie Fowler who returned to the winner’s circle at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and both could be good picks from Johnson.
Well, back in 2021 we had our very own Ryder Cup – Team USA v Team Europe Club Golfer Performance, based on real data from our Shot Scope users. The data was based on golfers with our V3 watch (now replaced by the X5) – which made for some really interesting scoring!
Home to the Italian Open for the last three years, The Marco Simone, Championship Course, is a picturesque par 72, at 6,937 yards long and a slope rating of 140.
The course offers an exciting layout for fans – perfect for the dramatic match-play format synonymous wit the Ryder Cup – with multiple water hazards providing the ‘risk & reward’ tests that will captivate golf fans on both sides of the pond!
Some of the unique highlights of the course include:
This will be the first time that Italy has hosted the Ryder Cup and only the third time the competition has been contested in mainland Europe, after Real Club Valderrama in Spain 1997 & Le Golf National in France 2018.
The Ryder Cup gets underway on September 30th.
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