The latest edition of one of sport’s greatest rivalries is just around the corner. With the 2023 Ryder Cup fast approaching, our preview gives you all the info you need. This will be the 44th Ryder Cup and whilst the format has changed many times over the years, the levels of passion and pride have remained constant.
Europe were well and truly battered last time out and the USA start as firm favourites here. Despite the seeming ceasefire between LIV Golf and the main tours, the game is in a strange place right now and a hard-fought, but sporting, Ryder Cup clash could be just what is needed to help bring a semblance of normality. However, the new tour continues to cast a shadow over the event, so the controversy is likely to rumble on irrespective of how good the Ryder Cup turns out to be.
When and Where is the 2023 Ryder Cup?
After the US hosted last time out, the Ryder Cup will take place in Europe this year. Italy’s Marco Simone Golf and Country Club is the host course and is located near Rome. As with the 2018 tournament at Le Golf National in Paris, the European authorities will make sure the course is as favourable as possible to the home side.
The action gets underway on the 29th of September, with the singles taking place as usual on the Sunday – the 1st of October. The European Ryder Cup was initially scheduled to take place in 2022 but due to the global health issues of the period, the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits was postponed from 2020 to 2021, meaning the showdown at Marco Simone was also put back by 12 months.
Who are Favourites for the 2023 Ryder Cup?
At the time of writing, with the full teams yet to be announced, the USA are clear favourites with the bookies (and also with most experts). USA are priced at 8/11, with the hosts out at 6/4 and the draw a fairly standard 12/1. A draw would be enough for Team USA to retain the Ryder Cup they won so comprehensively last time out but after winning by a record margin of 19 points to nine the “away” team will be confident of securing the win.
That said, the US have not won overseas since way back in 1993 when they edged a tight contest at the Belfry. Vocal home support, familiarity with the conditions, plus course selection and preparation, play a big part in the Ryder Cup and so Europe may just feel they can upset the odds. They are no strangers to being underdogs at the Ryder Cup and have regularly triumphed in the past with what has appeared very much a weaker team on paper.
Which Players are at the Ryder Cup in 2023 and Who are the Captains?
The full teams will not be announced until mid-September, with captains keen to have the best chance possible of selecting players who are in form, and also allowing such golfers the chance to qualify automatically. Both teams will have six captain’s picks, or wild cards, plus six players who qualify based on their standings in the relevant rankings.
For Europe, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm recently confirmed their places thanks to their standing in the European Points List. At the time of writing they are ranked second and third in the world respectively, however, so it is safe to say they would have made the team one way or another come what may. The likes of Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Robert Macintyre, Matt Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry and Justin Rose are also almost certain to make the 12. That may leave three places up for grabs and there are probably around six or seven players in the mix. It will be interesting to see how things play out.
The men set to make the decisions about the teams are Luke Donald, for Europe, and Zach Johnson for USA. Donald replaced the original pick, Henrik Stenson, after the Swede’s switch to LIV ruled him out. Johnson is likely to have a team including Max Homa, Brian Harman, Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele, while Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay and Wyndham Clark have already qualified. Lucas Glover may well have done enough now, with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Keegan Bradley and Cameron Young also right in the mix. However, USA have a lot of strength in depth and there will be some very tough decisions for their captain.
Can LIV Players Compete at the Ryder Cup
The situation with regards to LIV players is very clear as far as the European side are concerned and they are not eligible for selection. Barring what would be a hugely controversial and incredibly improbable change, that means that the likes of Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Stenson, all Ryder Cup stalwarts, will definitely not feature.
Things are far more complex concerning the US team. LIV players are technically eligible and through the majors can earn points towards qualification. Brooks Koepka could do enough to qualify automatically after winning the US PGA Championship and finishing tied second at the Masters. He and Bryson DeChambeau seem the most likely LIV players to make the team, with Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed outsiders. Though Zach Johnson could yet decide against picking any LIV players!
Ryder Cup Format for 2023
There is plenty of uncertainty around selection and off-course controversy but things are nice and simple in terms of the format. Selection aside, the golf itself will be the same as Ryder Cup fans are accustomed to. That means that the 2023 Ryder Cup will see:
- Matchplay event over three days between sides of 12 players
- 28 points in total, so 14.5 required to win the Ryder Cup outright and 14 to retain it
- 8 points available on Friday, 8 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday
- First two days both feature four matches of foursomes and four of fourballs
- Sunday sees 12 singles matches