Felger & Mazz

Felger & Mazz

The 2023 Ryder Cup gets underway this week at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy. It will be the 44th playing of the Ryder Cup and the first Cup ever contested in Italy. The Ryder Cup is a match play tournament held biennially between the United States and Europe. Each team has 12 players and a total on 28 points are up for grabs in he 28 matches held.

The United States is coming off a 19-9 victory over Europe in 2021 and will look to claim their first victory on European soil since 1993. Since they are the defending champions, the United States will need just 14 points to “retain” the Ryder Cup. Retaining it does not mean that they win it, as the matches would just end in a tie. In order to win the trophy outright one of the sides needs to win 14.5 points in the matches. Below are my predictions for how things could go down this week in Italy!

The United States Captain’s Picks outproduce the United States automatic qualifiers 

2023 Ryder Cup - Previews

ROME, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 26: Justin Thomas talks with Jordan Spieth of Team United States during a practice round prior to the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club on September 26, 2023 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

As there usually is with the USA’s Captain’s picks, there was a lot of controversy over who was chosen and who was left at home. But looking at the roster, I see the potential that Zach Johnson’s choices to join the team will outscore the automatic qualifiers for America. The automatic qualifiers includes rookies Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, and Max Homa  and the other three, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, and Patrick Cantaly all have just one Ryder Cup under their belt and it was at home in 2021. On the Captain’s pick side there is just one rookie in Sam Burns. Four of the other five picks have multiple Ryder Cups under their belts, including Cups on European soil. Between the experience and talent on both sides, I feel that more of the points for America will come from the Captain’s picks. 

 

  • One of the European “Big Three” struggles to produce

    2023 Ryder Cup - Previews

    ROME, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 26: Viktor Hovland of Team Europe tees off on the ninth hole during a practice round prior to the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club on September 26, 2023 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

    In recent Ryder Cups there has been a lot of talk around the “star power” of the United States. However, the 2023 Ryder Cup will be different as it’s the Europeans who have the ”star power” with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ranked golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings. Between Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Viktor Hovland the Europeans will boast three of the highest ranked golfers on the planet. To me, with this much power and hype around certain players, at least one always finds a way to struggle under the pressure. I think the 2023 Ryder Cup will prove to be the same as one of Europe’s big names will struggle to put up points in Rome.  

  • Jordan Spieth wins his singles match 

    2023 Ryder Cup - Previews

    ROME, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 26: Jordan Spieth of Team United States tees off during a practice round prior to the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club on September 26, 2023 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

    It may be hard to believe, but Jordan Spieth has never won a Sunday singles match at the Ryder Cup. In fact, entering last year’s Presidents Cup Spieth was 0-6-1 in seven Sunday singles matches while representing the United States as a professional. He finally broke that winless streak in 2022 at the Presidents Cup with a win over Cam Davis. In 2023 I think he’ll finally break the winless stretch at the Ryder Cup with his first full point on a Sunday. 

  • Ludvig Aberg makes his name known 

    2023 Ryder Cup - Previews

    ROME, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 26: Ludvig Aberg of Team Europe plays a bunker shot on the fourth hole during a practice round prior to the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club on September 26, 2023 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

    The casual golf fan in America probably doesn’t know the name Ludvig Aberg. However, things will be different following this week’s Ryder Cup. The 23-year-old Swede will make his name known with solid play at his first Ryder Cup and make the American golf fans learn who he is. In his last three starts Aberg has a T4, a T10, and a victory, all on the DP World Tour. He’s entering the Ryder Cup in great form and is setting up for a solid week ahead for him.

  • The United States wins by the slimmest of margins 

    2023 Ryder Cup - Previews

    ROME, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 26: A detailed view of a branded tee marker during a practice round prior to the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club on September 26, 2023 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

    14.5 to 13.5. That’s as close as things can get in the Ryder Cup for someone to be victorious. I think the depth of the United States will be too much for Europe in 2023 and for the first time since 1993 the Red, White, and Blue will celebrate on European soil. 

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