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Ryder Cup Preview – USA v Europe Set For Italian Showdown

The two teams are now set and we now know the 24 golfers that will represent Team Europe and Team United States at the 2023 Ryder Cup.

European captain Luke Donald named his 6 captain’s selections on Monday, to go with the six players that had qualified for the team.

The United States captain Zach Johnson had already named his picks a few days before to finalise the US team.

As with every Ryder Cup, betting is sure to be hot on the tournament. Remember to check out bet365 Sport for its excellent golf betting coverage, including plenty of fantastic In Play betting when the tournament is in play.

The United States are the holders of the trophy having recorded a crushing 19-9 win last time out at Whistling Straits in 2021.

However, the United States team have not won a Ryder Cup in Europe since their 15-13 victory at the Belfry in 1993.

Let’s now preview the tournament in a bit more detail.

Ryder Cup 2023

The 2023 Ryder Cup will be contested from Friday 29th September until Sunday 1st October, although there will be plenty of Ryder Cup themed events taking place in the week ahead of Friday’s opening tee shot.

The Marco Simone Golf and Country Club located to the North East of Rome, will host the tournament. The Tom Fazio II designed course took three years to build, and was completed in 2021.

It has been specifically designed with Match Play golf in mind.

At 7,268 yards long, it is not the longest of courses. But it is the mix of risk & reward holes, with some fantastically designed short par 4s and a 626-yard par five to finish which will create plenty of drama as players can elect to take a risk, or play it safe.

In many ways, this is the first Ryder Cup bespoke designed course, and it is going to be hugely interesting to see how the players approach it!

Course Information

  • Hole 1 – 445 yards – Par 4
  • Hole 2 – 476 yards – Par 4
  • Hole 3 – 453 yards – Par 4
  • Hole 4 – 185 yards – Par 3
  • Hole 5 – 376 yards – Par 4
  • Hole 6 – 383 yards – Par 4
  • Hole 7 – 219 yards – Par 3
  • Hole 8 – 503 yards – Par 5
  • Hole 9 – 587 yards – Par 5
  • Hole 10 – 455 yards – Par 4
  • Hole 11 – 330 yards – Par 4
  • Hole 12 – 554 yards – Par 5
  • Hole 13 – 145 yards – Par 3
  • Hole 14 – 495 yards – Par 4
  • Hole 15 – 478 yards – Par 4
  • Hole 16 – 352 yards – Par 4
  • Hole 17 – 206 yards – Par 3
  • Hole 18 – 626 yards – Par 5

The Ryder Cup Teams

Team USA

  • Captain – Zach Johnson
  • Vice Captains – Stewart Cink, Fred Couples, Jim Furyk, Davis Love III and Steve Stricker.

Players (Official Rankings Shown in Brackets)

  • Scottie Scheffler (1)
  • Wyndham Clark (10)
  • Brian Harman (9)
  • Patrick Cantlay (5)
  • Max Homa (7)
  • Xander Schauffele (6)
  • Sam Burns (20)
  • Rickie Fowler (26)
  • Brooks Koepka (15)
  • Collin Morikawa (19)
  • Jordan Spieth (12)
  • Justin Thomas (25)

The inclusion of Justin Thomas as one of Zach Johnson’s captain’s picks has provoked a mixed response after a torrid season for the former World Number 1.

Keegan Bradley (16) was one of the unfortunate golfer to be overlooked, despite two wins on tour this season and being 11th in the Ryder Cup rankings.

Tony Finau (21) and Will Zalatoris (24) were the others overlooked for players lower down the rankings.

This is a youthful US team with four rookies (Burns, Harman, Clark and Homa) and no player has played in more than four previous Ryder Cup tournaments.

Team Europe

  • Captain – Luke Donald
  • Vice Captains – Thomas Bjorn, Edoardo Molinari, Nicolas Colsaerts, Jose Maria Olazabal, Francesco Molinari

Players (Official Rankings Shown in Brackets)

  • Rory McIlroy (2)
  • Jon Rahm (3)
  • Viktor Hovland (4)
  • Robert MacIntyre (54)
  • Tyrrell Hatton (13)
  • Matt Fitzpatrick (8)
  • Tommy Fleetwood (14)
  • Shane Lowry (37)
  • Nicolai Hojgaard (78)
  • Sepp Straka (23)
  • Ludvig Aberg (90)
  • Justin Rose (34)

Luke Donald took over as captain of the European team when Henrik Stenson left for LIV Golf last year and the Englishman has surprised many with some of his selections.

With six players inside the world’s top 15, none of those players being selected was a surprise. Neither was Robert MacIntyre or Sepp Straka, whose form on the European tour has been excellent.

Justin Rose and Shane Lowry are experienced Ryder Cup players who have won Major titles, but it is the selections of Nicolai Hojgaard and particularly Ludvig Aberg that has drawn most scrutiny.

Ranked 78th and 90th in the world, Hojgaard and Aberg were selected ahead of higher ranked players such as Pablo Larrazabal, Alex Bjork, Victor Perez, Alex Noren, Seamus Power and Adrian Meronk.

However, Hojgaard’s recent form and the prodigious talent of Aberg, who Donald sees as a future golf superstar, were the reasons why the captain included them in his picks.

Ryder Cup 2023 – Format

The official opening ceremony of the Ryder Cup will take place on the Thursday evening ahead of the commencement of play early on Friday morning.

A total of 28 matches will be played, 8 of which will be foursomes (where players play alternate shots with a single ball),eight will be four balls (where players each play their own ball) and 12 of which will be singles matches.

All games are played in the Match Play format.

The first team to reach 14.5 points will win the Ryder Cup. However, in the event of a tie, Team USA will retain the cup as current holders.

Day One (8 points available)

  • AM – 4 x Foursomes
  • PM – 4 x Fourball

Day Two (8 points available)

  • AM – 4 x Foursomes
  • PM – 4 x Fourball

Day Three (12 points available)

  • 12 x Individual Matches

Pairing Selections

Each team captain will select pairings from their team of 12 players for the foursomes and fourball contests each day.

The first pairing is announced during the opening ceremony on Thursday night and then the fourball pairings are announced near the close of the Foursomes round. Captains then will select foursomes and fourball pairings for the second day in the same way.

At the end of Day 2, the captains will then decide in what order all 12 of their players will go out for their individual contests on the final day.

For each of the five different pairing or individual selections, each team captain does not know what players the other captain has selected.

Latest Ryder Cup Betting

  • Europe to win – 5/4
  • USA to win – 4/5
  • 14/14 tie – 12/1

Bet365 Sport is also offering a range of special boosted markets for the tournament which include:

  • Ludvig Aberg to be top team points scorer – 18/1
  • Rory McIlroy to be top combined points scorer – 11/1
  • Robert MacIntyre to be top scoring rookie – 10/1

It certainly looks like being one of the most evenly contested Ryder Cup matches in recent times, with two very well-matched teams and a number of captain’s picks that could either backfire, or prove to be inspired!

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