Europe captain Luke Donald urged his “fearless” players to write their own Ryder Cup history. While the pairings of Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton and Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood came as no surprise, Donald also handed Ludvig Aberg and Sepp Straka an early taste of the action at Marco Simone.
The fiery pairing of Rahm and Hatton will face world number one Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns in the first foursomes match, with Aberg and Viktor Hovland up against Max Homa and Open champion Brian Harman.
Straka and Shane Lowry were paired in match three versus Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa, with McIlroy and Fleetwood up against arguably the USA’s strongest pair in Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.
Meanwhile, fans flying out last minute to Rome face being turned away if they buy tickets on resale websites amid a touting clampdown at Marco Simone. Read more on that story here.
When is the Ryder Cup?
This year’s Ryder Cup starts on Friday, September 29 with the final day on Sunday, October 1.
The Ryder Cup is always staged in late September or early October after the season’s major championships, and lasts for three days.
Where is it being held?
The 44th Ryder Cup will be hosted by Italy, for the first time in its history.
The venue is the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club just outside Rome, which has previously hosted the Italian Open. For a more detailed look at its 18 holes, we have compiled a hole-by-hole guide to the course.
Italian players to represent Europe with distinction include Costantino Rocca and the Molinari brothers, Francesco and Eduardo.
Seven of the past eight contests have been won by the home side, the exception being the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in 2012 where Europe recovered from 10-4 down to pull off a remarkable victory.
Nine of the United States team made a recent scouting trip to Marco Simone as they attempt to secure a first win on European soil since 1993, but many of the European side have contested the Italian Open at the venue over the past three years, with Bob MacIntyre (2022) and Nicolai Hojgaard (2021) winning the title.
How can I watch on TV?
NBC is the broadcaster in America, where viewers will either have to stay up late or wake up very early to catch the morning sessions on Friday and Saturday. When the Ryder Cup was played in France five years ago, play began at 2.10am Eastern Time, with the afternoon sessions starting at a more civilised 7.50am Eastern Time.
No such worries for viewers in the UK, where there will be exclusive live television coverage on Sky Sports. In 2018, the first matches went off at 7.10am BST. Click here for full details of how to watch the Ryder Cup.
What is the Ryder Cup?
The Ryder Cup, one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, is distinctive for inserting competitors from an individual sport into a team environment. Aside from the golf, the team dynamics and relationships have made for compelling viewing.
Amateur golfer and businessman Samuel Ryder conceived the idea of a match between British and American professionals, with the inaugural Ryder Cup played in Massachusetts in 1927.
The match was played between an American and British or British and Irish team until 1977.
After nine US victories and one tie in 10 meetings, Jack Nicklaus wrote a letter to Lord Derby (then president of the British PGA) suggesting Britain and Ireland merge with Continental Europe to make the Ryder Cup more competitive.
Ryder Cups became far more closely fought and dramatic by the mid-Eighties, and the extravaganza we know today was born.
Who are the Ryder Cup captains?
Europe will be led by Luke Donald, who replaced Henrik Stenson last year after the Swede was stripped of the title because of his defection to LIV Golf. The US captain is 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson.
Who is on the teams?
Six players qualified automatically – the three leading players on the European points list and the next three players on the world points list. The qualification period ended on Sept 3.
The six leading European players are (from the European points list) Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Bob MacIntyre and (from the world points list) Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick.
For his six wild cards, Donald picked Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka, Shane Lowry, Nicolai Hojgaard and Ludvig Aberg.
European golfers who are playing on the LIV Golf tour were not permitted to qualify for the Ryder Cup. This is because European Ryder Cup players must be members of the DP World Tour (formerly known as the European Tour) and those players who signed up with LIV were forced to give up their places on the DP World Tour.
Like Europe, America use a ‘six plus six’ method for selecting the team: six players qualify automatically and captain Johnson picked the remaining six himself.
The six automatic qualifiers were: Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Max Homa, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.
But unlike Donald, Johnson was permitted to select from the LIV ranks. He selected as his wild cards Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Sam Burns and Rickie Fowler.
Why are Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and other LIV golfers not playing in the Ryder Cup?
In order to be eligible for selection for the European Ryder Cup team, players must hold DP World Tour membership – something Garcia, Westwood and Ian Poulter gave up this year.
European golfers who joined the breakaway LIV tour were engaged in a lengthy legal dispute with the Tour over the latter’s ability to sanction them for making the Saudi switch.
This year, it was ruled the Tour could punish LIV players, with each given fines totalling up to £100,000 in some cases as well as a three-event ban.
Poulter led attempts to appeal this decision but when the Tour’s ability to issue the sanctions was upheld, he, along with other leading European LIV players, chose to hand in their tour card and thus renege their Ryder Cup eligibility.
Fans flying out last minute to Rome warned they will be denied entry amid tout clampdown
Ryder Cup fans flying out last minute to Rome face being turned away if they buy tickets on resale websites amid a touting clampdown at Marco Simone.
Viagogo is among websites advertising availability and multiple vendors in the Italian city are illegally advertising passes to those arriving at train stations.
However, with the event once again a complete sell-out, authorities are warning those still picking up tickets that some have already been turned away.
“It is all sold out, with approximately 50,000 per day and around 250,000 across the week,” a Ryder Cup Europe spokesman said. He added that “tickets bought through resale/non-official avenues will be invalid”.
Terms and conditions for the event warn that secondary ticketing is tightly regulated in Italy. “All tickets” purchased away from the Ryder Cup’s official channels “will be considered invalid and ineffective, and the relevant holders will not be admitted into the venue”, the terms add.
Last-minute tickets can still be secured legitimately, according to On Location, the official travel package provider of the PGA. “All of On Location’s packages are in compliance with Italian ticket laws making them a trusted source for any golf fans looking to attend Ryder Cup this year,” the firm claimed this week.
Tickets available via the American firm are believed to largely be hospitality packages. “On Location offerings range from daily packages each day of the tournament that feature Q&As with Justin Leonard, Paul McGinley and Tony Jacklin to travel offerings at top hotels for a full-length stay throughout the tournament,” a statement said.
After a relatively quiet start to the week, crowds have been swelling in sweltering temperatures at Marco Simone on Thursday. Uniformed and plain-clothes Italian police are patrolling the course across 150 hectares of countryside.
After multiple security breaches by Just Stop Oil at major sporting events this summer, all arrivals face extensive bag checks. The likelihood of the environmental group striking the event appears fairly minimal, however.
“The press team hasn’t been made aware of any actions in Rome,” a Just Stop Oil spokesperson told Telegraph Sport.
Why has Brooks Koepka been selected?
The key distinction with the US team is that Ryder Cup eligibility is not linked to the PGA Tour but to membership of the PGA of America – the organisers of the USPGA.
Koepka, and other US LIV golfers, are blocked from playing on the PGA Tour but have still been able to earn ranking points through playing in the four majors.
Despite winning the USPGA and finishing second at the Masters, Koepka did not qualify automatically for Team USA but he – and other LIV golfers – remained eligible for Ryder Cup selection through their continued membership of the PGA of America.
How can I buy tickets?
General admission tickets for the Ryder Cup are now sold out, but more premium tickets including hospitality packages are available via the official website.
A Vista Terrace ticket for the final practice day – featuring live entertainment, DJs, private bars and food stands – will set you back about £350.
A place in the ‘Captains Club’ for Thursday to Sunday inclusive costs around £5,800 per person.
What is the Ryder Cup format?
Most golf tournaments such as the Masters and Open Championship are strokeplay, where every shot counts and the player with the lowest score after 72 holes wins.
The Ryder Cup is matchplay, meaning players compete as individuals or pairs against their opponents rather than the course. The pair or player with the lowest score wins the hole. For example, if Europe record a four on the first hole and the US a five, Europe will go one-up. If the scores are reversed on the second, the match will go back to all-square and so forth.
The match is won when the advantage is bigger than the number of holes remaining. If it finishes all-square, the match is halved.
There are two teams of 12. On Friday, there are four foursomes matches in the morning and four fourballs matches in the afternoon. This is repeated on Saturday. It means four players from each team sit out each session, with the team captain selecting his pairs and deciding who to leave out. There can be different pairs for each format.
The only time all 24 players are on the course is Sunday’s ‘singles’ when they go head-to-head in 12 direct match-ups.
Winning a match earns your team a point, with a halved match worth half a point to each team. For full details on the format, click here.
Those proficient at maths will have realised there are 28 points on offer, so both teams are aiming for 14 1/2 points to win the Ryder Cup. A 14-14 tie would mean the holders retain the trophy (i.e. the US on this occasion).
What is the Ryder Cup schedule?
Tuesday, 27-Thursday 28 September
Practice days with the opening ceremony on Thursday evening.
Friday, September 29
Four foursomes matches in morning, four fourballs matches in afternoon.
Saturday, Sept 30
Four foursomes matches in morning, four fourballs matches in afternoon.
Sunday, Oct 1
12 singles matches before closing ceremony.
What are the best of the odds?
Odds correct as of September 28
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