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Team Europe have already begun their plot for Ryder Cup redemption, after arriving at the host course Marco Simone earlier this week. The Europeans head into this year’s event on the back of a heavy defeat at the hands of the Americans two years earlier.
Team USA secured a record-breaking 19-9 victory over their European rivals at Whistling Straits in 2021, with many backing the American setup to begin a period of Ryder Cup domination. Two years on though, things are much different with a new-look Team Europe ready to go on home soil.
In a bid to ensure they are ready and raring to go come September 29, captain Luke Donald has already taken his 12-man team to Italy to scout out the lay of the land at Marco Simone. It has been a busy week for the Europeans, with a group of them flying straight out to the Italian capital after finishing up at the Irish Open.
Their trip also comes the same week as the DP World Tour’s biggest event of the year, with the BMW PGA Championship taking place at Wentworth which kicks off on Thursday. Giving an insight into the plans, Captain Donald said: “We have a practice trip the Monday of Wentworth. I’ll be flying Sunday evening to meet the rest of the guys there.
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“We will play Monday and then head back to Wentworth Tuesday morning.” Europe’s biggest names Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood, and Justin Rose all took to the Italian course on Monday. And they were of course joined by Ryder Cup rookies Robert MacIntyre, Sepp Straka, Nicolai Hojgaard, and Ludvig Aberg.
Despite the lack of Ryder Cup experience, one debutant in particular knows the Marco Simone course better than most in MacIntyre. The Scot knows exactly what it takes to win around the Roman setup, after landing the 2022 Italian Open at the same venue 11 months earlier.
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The Europeans are not alone in their scouting trip though, after Team USA had been in attendance at the Italian course just hours earlier. U.S. captain Zach Johnson was joined by his vice-captains and nine of his players, with the majority checking out the Italian setup for the very first time.
Similarly to their rivals, the Americans’ stop on European soil was a quick one, lasting 48 hours. The three players absent from the trip were Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, and Xander Schauffele due to ‘family commitments’.
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