Ryder Cup 2023
Friday, September 29 – Sunday, October 1, 2023
- Marco Simone Golf & Country Club – Rome, Italy
- Par 72, 7299 yards
- Total driving looks a key statistic for both teams as long and accurate is a prerequisite at the Italian track.
- It is a very undulating track and a tough walk, for even the youngest legs
Will Marco Simone Bring Back Paris Vibes for Europe?
I get the feeling that the European Ryder Cup team is going to be hard to beat at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome.
After many years, where the contest was close to a coin flip from the 1990s, the last four bi-annual renewals have been one-sided to the home side. There is no doubt the respective tours have found quirky tracks that suit their team’s demands perfectly, and here at Marco Simone Golf Club, there is much of the same thesis behind the track of choice. Remember four years ago at Le Golf National when Europe ran riot, I cannot help but envisage something similar.
This course has hosted the last three renewals of the prestigious Italian Open, allowing a window of opportunity for golf fans to understand, Luke Donald’s wild card selections of Nicolai Hojgaard and Ludvig Aberg. Those two Scandinavian talents are amongst the longest hitters in the game, a prerequisite of playing the Italian track efficiently.
Italian Open Form Is Key
In the 2021 Italian Open renewal, Nicolai Hojgaard sprung to prominence winning from Tommy Fleetwood and Adrian Meronk. The 2022 contest saw Robert MacIntyre taking the championship from Matt Fitzpatrick while this year’s renewal saw Adrian Meronk winning. This brings a sense of understanding why Meronk’s omission was controversial, but in truth, it shows how strong the DP World Tour has become and laden with young talent.
- Rory McIlroy
- Jon Rahm
- Viktor Hovland
- Matt Fitzpatrick
- Tommy Fleetwood
- Shane Lowry
- Sepp Straka
- Tyrrell Hatton
- Robert MacIntyre
- Nicolai Hojgaard
- Ludvig Aberg
- Justin Rose
United States Team
- Scottie Scheffler
- Xander Schauffele
- Patrick Cantlay
- Collin Morikawa
- Justin Thomas
- Jordan Spieth
- Rickie Fowler
- Max Homa
- Wyndham Clark
- Brian Harman
- Sam Burns
- Brooks Koepka
Ryder Cup Format – 18-Hole Matchplay
The Ryder Cup format is a unique one with doubles golf being the order of the opening two days. Foursomes is one ball, alternate shot and alternate tee off, while fourballs is all four players scoring and the best score for each team counts for matchplay.
- Day 1: Two sessions, foursomes and fourballs.
- Day 2: Two sessions, foursomes and fourballs.
- Day 3: Twelve singles Matchplay
Team Spirit Will Be Better for The European Team
With the format of pairs golf on the opening two days, camaraderie and team spirit are crucial with the onus on the captain to find pairings that gel well for the opening two days.
In the 2021 Ryder Cup, the European team took a pounding at Whistling Straits, but it is fair to point out that Europe had become an aging team with the likes of Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood, and Ryder Cup talisman undoubtedly past their best.
Looking back, I expect that to be a Seminole point of change in European golf and the start of an exciting era. Certainly, Ludvig Aberg being earmarked as a wild card pick so early in his career is a tip that perhaps he is something special and his peers know it. At the BMW PGA Championship, Aberg was paired in the marquee group with Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, looking very comfortable in their presence.
This new core of the Ryder Cup European team has shown a special camaraderie all year on the PGA Tour with Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Tyrrell Hatton hanging about to support Tommy Fleetwood at the Canadian Open play-off. This was evident again when all his fellow teammates were there to congratulate Viktor Hovland on his FedEx Cup win a few weeks ago.
Challenges for the American Team
To contrast that, Zach Johnson as United States captain, has selected the US PGA Championship winner, Brooks Koepka, the only LIV player on either team. I don’t expect it to be too divisive, but one never knows. After all, many of the players competing this week turned down life-changing money from the Saudi-backed golf tour.
The other key factor the United States team must find a way to combat this week as well as being the away side, is their players have been largely inactive since the Tour Championship. That was after a long season when the PGA Tour added elevated events to their top players’ schedules.
Europe has no such problem. In fact, it is a new brush-cleaned situation for Luke Donald. Just, the fact that Ludvig Aberg justified his wild card selection last week will give the captain confidence. He is taking charge at a time when European golf is in rude health.
I expect home advantage, sharpness of the European players and camaraderie to be key for Europe, so take the plus money with BetOnline.
In next week’s BMR Ryder Cup preview, I will investigate the team markets of each side and make suggestions for each.
Golf Pick: Europe to Win the Ryder Cup (+125) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.