After a historic beatdown of the Europeans in the 2021 Ryder Cup, the United States will look to retain their trophy in Rome at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.
Twenty-four of the best golfers in the world, 12 from the United States and 12 from Europe, will square off in a three-day tournament that is unlike any other competition in golf. The first two days will feature a four-match session of four-ball (two US vs. two Europeans with the lowest individual score taken on each hole) in the morning followed by a four-match session of foursomes (two US vs. two Europeans with teammates alternating shots) in the afternoon. Sunday is composed of all one-on-one matches.
While the United States is coming off a dominant win in 2021, they have not won on foreign soil since 1993, losing six straight matches. Looking to turn this trend around for the red, white, and blue will be Sam Burns, Patrick Cantlay, Wyndham Clark, Rickie Fowler, Brian Harman, Max Homa, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffle, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth, and Justin Thomas led by Captain Zach Johnson.
For the Europeans, Ludvig Aberg, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrell Hatton, Nicolai Hojgaard, Viktor Hovland, Shane Lowry, Robert MacIntyre, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, and Sepp Straka will look to defend their home turf with Captain Luke Donald at the helm.
While these are some of the best golfers the world has to offer, there will be certain names to keep an eye on throughout the weekend.
Scheffler is one of the most notable names representing the stars and stripes this week after his dominant performance in 2021. The now No. 3 golfer in the world set the tone early going 2-0-1, including a victory against Jon Rahm, the No. 1 golfer in the world at the time.
A name that may fly under the radar this weekend is Koepka. Making his fourth Ryder Cup appearance, he has been known to have a flair for the dramatic and thrive when pressure is at its highest. The five-time major champion touts a 6-5-1 record all-time and will be essential to the US retaining the cup.
In terms of rookies, the United States has three this year in Max Homa, Brian Harman, and Wyndham Clark. Harman and Clark are the most notable names from this group, as Harman took home the Claret Jug from The Open Championship, showing he can win on foreign soil. Clark also took home a major of his own this year, winning the US Open.
On the European side, Fed-Ex Cup Champion Viktor Hovland will need to be a key contributor in his second Ryder Cup. The Norwegian dominated the second half of the PGA Tour this year, giving him all of the momentum heading into this weekend. However, Hovland has yet to record a win at the Ryder Cup, with a 0-3-2 record in 2021.
While there are many variables at play, one thing is for certain: this will be one of the most tightly contested Ryder Cups in a while and the US needs to put its best foot forward if it wants to bring home its first win on foreign soil in the 21st century.