Ryder Cup 2023 LIVE! Opening ceremony updates as Friday pairings are revealed

Ryder Cup 2023 LIVE! Opening ceremony updates as Friday pairings are revealed

Ryder Cup 2023 LIVE!

The greatest show in golf is upon us once again as Team Europe and the USA lock horns for the 44th time at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome. Zach Johnson’s Americans head to Italy full of confidence after their record 19-9 thrashing at Whistling Straits two years ago, though their record on this continent leaves a lot to be desired to say the least.

Indeed, you need to go all the way back to 1993 at The Belfry for the last time that Europe were defeated on home soil, with six failures since then from the USA including their 2018 loss at Le Golf National in France. Luke Donald’s hosts have grown in belief and now boast three of the world’s top four players plus an exciting clutch of rookies including a so-called “generational talent” in Ludvig Aberg.

Final practice has been taking place on Thursday, with Viktor Hovland creating huge buzz by holing his tee shot for an amazing albatross at the par-four fifth. The opening ceremony is coming up with performances from the likes of Tom Grennan, followed by the captains’ press conferences and those all-important pairings and tee times for day one. Follow the Ryder Cup latest with Standard Sport’s live blog below!

Ryder Cup latest news

  • Start time: Opening ceremony from 3pm BST

  • How to watch: Sky Sports

  • Captains' press conferences to follow

  • Donald and Johnson to announce Friday pairings

  • Hovland produces incredible practice hole-in-one

16:08 , George Flood

The opening ceremony concludes with an interview with celebrity fans Novak Djokovic and Carlos Sainz.

We are then treated to one final closing performance from Tom Grennan, who is certainly enjoying the occasion as he skips back and forth across the stage.

16:02 , George Flood

No Brooks Koepka initially from the USA either, while Matt Fitzpatrick will be disappointed to miss out.

That Lowry/Straka pairing could have just as easily been Fitzpatrick and Justin Rose.

Some tough calls from both captains.

15:58 , George Flood

Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns vs Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton - AKA ‘Team Angry’ - will be truly box-office viewing tomorrow morning in match one.

Tempers are sure to flare in that one.

A lot of American fans on social media are lamenting the absences of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, meanwhile.

15:56 , George Flood

Some very interesting pairings indeed from both captains there.

The European crowd seem very happy with Donald’s selections.

Friday Foursome pairings

15:53 , George Flood

Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay vs Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood

Friday Foursome pairings

15:52 , George Flood

Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa vs Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka

Friday Foursome pairings

15:51 , George Flood

Max Homa and Brian Harman vs Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg

Friday Foursome pairings

15:51 , George Flood

Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns vs Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton

Foursome pairings announced

15:50 , George Flood

Here we go with the pairings for match one...

15:48 , George Flood

A rousing speech from Donald as he also lauds his vice-captains and then introduces his team, who are given a tremendous reception from a partisan home crowd - the loudest cheers reserved for Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, of course.

Confirmation of Friday’s foursome pairings are on the way now.

15:46 , George Flood

Standard Sport’s Matt Majendie at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club

There’s no shortage of celebrities cheering on Team Europe this week.

Perhaps the most notable is Novak Djokovic, currently smiling and cheering from his seat.

Alongside him is Italian Matteo Berrettini, whose girlfriend Melissa Satta is the host of this opening ceremony.

Luke Donald speech

15:44 , George Flood

Donald hails what he calls the biggest moment of his golfing career.

He also praises Europe’s junior Ryder Cup team, who ended a run of six straight defeats earlier today with a record 11-point victory in Rome.

Europe won 20 ½ to 9 ½ in a dominant display.

Donald also urges the fans to make this the loudest Ryder Cup in history, but also calls for the spirit of fair play to be respected throughout.

There is going to be some atmosphere over the next three days, judging by that reaction.


15:40 , George Flood

Johnson finishes by introducing his USA team player by player and inviting an ovation for his experienced vice-captains.

A rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner follows.

Now it’s Luke Donald’s turn...

Zach Johnson speech

15:38 , George Flood

A nice speech from Zach Johnson that begins with him talking of the positive impact that so many Italians have had on life in the United States.

He says: “Italy has given so much to America and, this week, in a small way, we hope America can give something back to Italy.”

Johnson also talks of his own history at the Ryder Cup and says he learned more about his individual game there than in any other competition.

There are thanks to local organisers and kind words for opposite number Luke Donald, with whom he came up on tour.

“Don’t let his classy demeanour fool you,” Johnson says. “I know he is a fierce competitor.”


15:27 , George Flood

Standard Sport’s Matt Majendie at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club

Quite amusing that US captain Zach Johnson’s opening speech is getting drowned out by an Italian air force flyover and an outbreak of “Ole, ole, ole” from the European supporters immediately afterwards.

15:26 , George Flood

Johnson starts his speech, before being interrupted by another flyover and chants of “ole, ole, ole” from the European fans.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

15:26 , George Flood

Opera singer Carly Paoli performs a stirring rendition of the Italian national anthem as a flyover then takes place, unleashing the green, white and red of the Italian flag.

Now it’s time for the captains’ speeches, starting with Zach Johnson for the USA.


Team Europe introduced

15:24 , George Flood

Now captain Luke Donald leads out Team Europe, accompanied by vice-captains Francesco Molinari, Edoardo Molinari, Thomas Bjorn, Nicolas Colsaerts and Jose Maria Olazabal.

All looking very sharp in their black suits, it must be said.

Team Europe: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Robert MacIntyre, Sepp Straka, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Shane Lowry, Nicolai Hojgaard, Ludvig Aberg


Team USA take the stage

15:21 , George Flood

The suited-and-booted Americans are introduced first, led out by captain Zach Johnson and vice-skippers Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Fred Couples and Stewart Cink.

Here’s a reminder of the US team in Rome:

Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler, Sam Burns

Plenty of support for them in Rome too as chants of “USA, USA” ring out before the European introductions.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

15:17 , George Flood

Plenty of inspiring montages now after that opening musical number, whetting the appetite nicely with lots of nods to the past and the history of this great competition.

Time to meet the teams!


15:09 , George Flood

Standard Sport’s Matt Majendie at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club

It was date night in Rome last night as players from both sides hit the centre of the Eternal City with their wives and girlfriends.

Partner-less here at the Ryder Cup, Viktor Hovland and Jose Maria Olazabal walked down the Spanish Steps hand in hand.

Opening ceremony underway

15:08 , George Flood

The opening ceremony is underway at the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome!

We go straight into the first of two performances from Tom Grennan, who is also closing the ceremony in a little while.

Not the most raucous crowd he’ll ever have...

Montgomerie fires Europe warning after Whistling Straits debacle

15:07 , George Flood

Confidence has been steadily growing in the European ranks, with captain Luke Donald boasting three of the world’s top four-ranked players in Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland, plus an exciting collection of rookies including Ludvig Aberg - hailed by his skipper as a “generational talent”.

However, all of America’s representatives are ranked inside the top 25 and Ryder Cup stalwart Colin Montgomerie is struggling to see how Europe can bridge such an enormous gap from the debacle Whistling Straits two years ago.

He said: “It’s going to be very difficult with that heavy defeat. How can you possibly have that heaviest defeat and come back and even get to it close, never mind win?

“The main advantage we’ve got is Rahm, McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick is now becoming a world star and Viktor Hovland. That’s a third of our team.

“The four of them can compete against any Americans but it takes more than four. We’ve got four or five world-class players, America have eight or nine. We’re behind the eight ball in that sense.”


14:55 , George Flood

Standard Sport’s Matt Majendie at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club

It’s a glorious day in Rome today, sun shining and the temperature around 30 degrees.

I spent the morning following around some of the European groups in their final practice round. Robert McIntyre had reportedly been struggling in his previous practice sessions but looked in better touch.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz followed around Rory McIlroy for a few holes, the pair taking time to chat between shots in what is a very relaxed environment within the European team.

Course set up to favour European hopes... but reality could be different

14:36 , George Flood

This week promises to be one of sporting success for Surrey Cricket after they won a second successive County Championship title, writes Matt Majendie in Rome.

The county also has had an unlikely hand in how the Ryder Cup might play out for the next three days. Dave Sampson was a data analyst for Surrey while he studied golf architecture and is now very much at the forefront of golf course design.

When Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, created in 1991, won the right to host this year’s Ryder Cup, Sampson was called upon to redesign it.

A major part of his remit was to make a course that gave Europe their best possible chance of continuing their remarkable run of success on home soil, dating back three decades.

Keen on a dramatic finale, central to his thinking has been a lot of “risk-reward holes on the back nine, where the drama of the Ryder Cup really is”, providing plenty of thrills and spills for the 250,000-plus expected through the turnstiles from Friday onwards.

Click here to read the article in full

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Tom Grennan to perform at opening ceremony

14:29 , George Flood

There is plenty lined up for this afternoon’s opening ceremony, including a two-song performance from English singer-songwriter Tom Grennan.

Opera singer Carly Paoli is also due to perform the Italian national anthem.


Rookies step into limelight as excitement takes hold

14:13 , George Flood

For Justin Rose, the Ryder Cup is all lights and music, writes Matt Majendie in Rome.

Such is the intensity of the biennial event, it is, he said, the moment when the music blares the loudest and the lights shine the brightest.

Any rookies among the eight to tee off on the first tee here in Rome on Friday in the morning foursomes have been forewarned it is a sensation unparalleled in golf.

Players have talked of limbs going numb, while European captain Luke Donald recalled totally fluffing his opening shot in the Ryder Cup. It did not prove inauspicious, Donald going on to have one of the best records of any player in the event’s annals.

The grandstand towers row upon row to make a cauldron around the first tee, with in excess of a quarter of a million fans expected through the turnstiles over the course of the next three days.

The preamble to the start has been months in the making. Players have talked of the emotions, tears flowing in the team room echoing the spirit of Seve Ballesteros and heartfelt messages from those closest to the players. Rory McIlroy was among those taken aback by his particular montage, voiced by his caddie and childhood friend Harry Diamond.

Click here to read the Ryder Cup preview in full


Hovland produces incredible practice hole-in-one

14:03 , George Flood

Viktor Hovland has already been causing plenty of excitement for Team Europe today.

The Norwegian world No4 has been rounding into form very nicely ahead of his second Ryder Cup appearance, claiming a dramatic victory at the BMW Championship before securing FedExCup success by winning the Tour Championship at East Lake.

And Hovland has stolen headlines again on Thursday, holing his tee shot during practice at the par-four fifth for an amazing albatross.

Pairings to be confirmed for Friday foursomes

13:56 , George Flood

It sounds like the pairings announcement will be part of today’s opening ceremony, rather than being revealed by Donald and Johnson during their respective captains’ press conferences afterwards.

We are expecting them to be confirmed at around 3:45pm BST, so watch this space.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Donald and Johnson to hold captains' press conferences

13:52 , George Flood

It isn’t just the opening ceremony and final practice rounds headlining Thursday at Rome’s Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.

The captains’ press conferences with Luke Donald and Zach Johnson are set to follow hot on the heels of the show this afternoon.

We will of course also have the all-important first pairings revealed this afternoon in advance of Friday morning’s foursomes.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Where to watch the Ryder Cup

13:47 , George Flood

TV channel: Live coverage from the Ryder Cup is available to watch now on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Golf, with the opening ceremony to follow on both channels.

Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can also catch the action live online via the Sky Go app.

Welcome to Ryder Cup live coverage

13:39 , George Flood

The 2023 Ryder Cup is here at last.

Golf’s biggest event and one of the most captivating three-day biennial stints on the sporting calendar has arrived amid all the usual glitzy fanfare and huge anticipation.

Team Europe and the USA go head to head for the 44th time at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, with Luke Donald’s hosts hoping to bounce back from their humiliating record 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits two years ago.

The Americans, meanwhile, are gunning for a first Ryder Cup triumph on European soil for 30 years under Zach Johnson, having not achieved the feat since 1993 at The Belfry.

Players from both teams have been out on the course for their final practice rounds on Thursday, with the opening ceremony to come from 3pm BST.

We will then have the respective captains’ press conferences to follow, including confirmation of those all-important pairings and tee times.

Follow all the Ryder Cup updates from across the afternoon with Standard Sport!