The Ryder Cup: Can Europe get the better of the USA?

Golf Thursday September 21, 2023 By: Harry Howes

After a gruelling season going toe-to-toe with one another, it’s almost time for the world’s best golfers to team up and battle for one of the most prestigious trophies in sport – the Ryder Cup.

The showpiece event gets underway on Friday 29th September, with three mouth-watering days of golf coming to a close on Sunday 1st October. This time around it’s Europe’s turn to host at the beautiful Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome.

Team Europe are looking to get revenge having been comfortably beaten last time out. The USA side cruised to a 19-9 victory in Wisconsin two years ago, which was the biggest Ryder Cup winning score since 1967.

Who will win the Ryder Cup?

While Team USA haven’t won in Europe for 30 years, they go into the competition as slight favourites. Europe have won seven of the last 10 meetings but they face stiff competition this time around.

There are a total of 28 points up for grabs across a series of foursome, four-ball and singles matches. Either side needs 14.5 points to win but a tie would see holders Team USA retain their crown.

TROON, SCOTLAND - JULY 15: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits from a bunker on the 12th hole during the second round on day two of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon on July 15, 2016 in Troon, Scotland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Team Europe

World number two Rory McIlroy qualified for Team Europe automatically following a strong run of form this season. The 34-year-old won the Scottish Open back in July, finishing just one shot ahead of Ryder Cup team-mate Robert MacIntyre.

They’ll be joined by Masters winner Jon Rahm, while Viktor Hovland, Tyrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick also made the cut for captain Luke Donald’s side.

Tommy Fleetwood narrowly missed out on automatic qualification but he’ll still be part of the team as a captain’s pick alongside fellow Brit Justin Rose. Seppa Straka has also been chosen by Donald after tying for second at The Open.

The final three captain spots went to Ludvig Åberg, Nicolai Højgaard and Shane Lowry.

Team USA

Brian Harman is set to make his Ryder Cup debut after defying the odds to win The Open back in July. He was a 125-1 outsider prior to the tournament in Liverpool but he played like a champion throughout and he’ll be looking to continue his good form in Rome.

Harman will be joined by world number one Scottie Scheffler, who won this year’s Players Championship and was Team USA’s first automatic pick. US Open winner Wyndham Clark also qualified via the points system, alongside Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Max Homa.

Captain Zach Johnson has called on this year’s PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka, as well as Rocket Mortgage Classic champion Rickie Fowler. Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Sam Burns make up the rest of the captain’s picks.

Despite vice-captain Fred Couples announcing that Cameron Young would be part of the side, the 26-year-old has not been selected for the final team.

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If you’re glued to the TV during the Ryder Cup and fancy taking in some live action, we’re already taking bookings for exclusive hospitality packages at next year’s Open Championship.

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