With the Ryder Cup set to get underway in Italy early on Friday morning, the big question on everyone’s lips is who will take home the coveted prize this year.
Will it be team USA, or team Europe? One thing that is guaranteed is that Marco Simone Golf Course, just outside of Rome, should provide quite the theatre for this epic USA vs Europe challenge.
The USA team heads to Rome hoping to defend the title they with a dominating performance at Whistling Straits in 2021, but Marco Simone will be a tricky track for their big hitters.
The Italian course looks to be a shrewd selection by the European team and its narrow fairways and treacherous rough will pose a threat to even the finest players in the world.
The European team will have no less trouble navigating Marco Simone and whilst they lack the overall caliber of player that can be found throughout the USA team, the likes of Rory McIlroy, John Rahm and Viktor Hovland are coming into this in better form for the home side.
One of the key pairings on the U.S. side over the last couple of years has been the duo of Cantlay and Schauffele.
Captain Steve Stricker paired them together in both foursomes matches in the 2021 Ryder Cup, where they wrapped up each match before the 18th hole, including a 53 trouncing of Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter.
Another widely-used duo in the team format is the combination of Spieth and Thomas, and the pair went a perfect 4-0 together at last year’s Presidents Cup. Thomas is one of the players to keep an eye on with some questioning his selection as a captain’s pick following a disappointing season. I would expect them to be paired together in the morning session Friday.
The pairings are going to be much more uncertain on the European side, as the team features four players who haven’t been involved in team play previously.
|Team USA||Team Europe|
|Xander Schauffele||Rory McIlroy|
|Scottie Scheffler||Jon Rahm|
|Jordan Spieth||Justin Rose|
|Justin Thomas||Sepp Straka|
Veterans Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey, Lee Westwood and Poulter were fixtures on the team over the last decade, but they aren’t on hand this time, so some pairings will certainly be shaken up. In fact, none of the pairings the Europeans used in foursomes in 2021 can be recreated this year.
Things are going to look much different this time around.
Fun-filled Thursday at @marcosimonegolf.
Attendee Guide 👇#RyderCup
— Ryder Cup (@rydercup) September 28, 2023
| Title: Ryder Cup Preview
| Author: Matt Catton
| Date: Sep 27, 2023
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