After an excellent USA side completed their 19 – 9 hammering of Europe at Whistling Straits in 2021, it felt as though they were sure to dominate the Ryder Cup for the foreseeable future. It was especially hard to see anything but another US win two years down the line.
However, two years is a long time in sport and as the golfing landscape has shifted considerably in that time, so have the prospects of the Europeans. Possessing some of the very best players in the world at the moment, they now look every bit a match for the travelling US team. Something they’ll have the chance to prove this week in Italy, in what looks set to be an enthralling 44th edition of the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.
Last five Ryder Cup results:
- 2021: USA 19 – 9 Europe (Whistling Straits)
- 2018: Europe 17 ½ – 10 ½ USA (Le Golf National)
- 2016: USA 17 – 11 Europe (Hazeltine)
- 2014: Europe 16 ½ – 11 ½ USA (Gleneagles)
- 2012: Europe 14 ½ – 13 ½ USA (Medinah)
The Ryder Cup was first staged as an event between the USA and Great Britain in 1923, in which the U.S won with a score of 9 ½ – 2 ½. It has taken place every two years since then, with the exclusion of the WWII years (1939-45), 2001 (due to the September 11th attacks) and 2020 (due to covid).
The format changed regularly throughout the 50s/60s/70s though went through its biggest change in 1979 into the format we now have. There, the decision was made to bring Europe into the fold with the aim of making the event a closer contest, as the USA had largely dominated the early history, leading 18 ½ – 3 ½ on overall points and losing once in a period spanning 42 years from 1935 to 1977.
Though the US initially carried over their dominance after the change – winning the first three renewals from 1979-1983 – the Europeans have fought back in a big way since, winning eleven – and halving one in 1989 – of the last eighteen Ryder Cups. Meaning they lead the way in the modern era 11 ½ – 9 ½ over the USA.
After losing seven of the previous nine editions, the Americans were emphatic in their reaction at Whistling Straits in 2021, with that 19 – 9 demolition the biggest winning margin since 1979. All eyes now look towards Europe to see if they can respond in their own fashion in Italy this week.
Format & Schedule
The two teams of twelve compete in a variety of 28 match play matches over three days, with 1 point awarded for a win and ½ a point if the match finishes all-square. This means that 14 ½ points are needed to win the event, though only 14 points are needed to retain the trophy if you are the defending champions.
The schedule is as follows:
- Friday Morning: Foursomes (Alternate Shot)
- Friday Afternoon: Fourballs (Better Ball)
- Saturday Morning: Foursomes
- Saturday Afternoon: Fourballs
Captain: Luke Donald
- Ryder Cup Record (Win – Loss – Tie): 12 – 12 – 4
- World Ranking: 2nd
Rory McIlroy will be making his seventh straight Ryder Cup appearance this week after debuting in the event on the winning team at Celtic Manor in 2010. He has subsequently played on winning teams in 2012, 2014 and 2018.
He has played twenty-eight of a possible thirty matches over the course of his Ryder Cup appearances, with 2021 the first time since his 2010 where he didn’t play all five. As you’d expect, he has a strong record in each match type and in recent years has taken on the important role of guiding some of the newer stars in the side, which may well include Swede sensation, Ludvig Aberg this year.
Rory has had an excellent year and comes into this week with just one finish outside the top 10 in his previous twelve starts. He will be keen to gain some redemption after Europe’s chastening defeat two years ago.
- Ryder Cup Record: 4 – 3 – 1
- World Ranking: 3rd
Jon Rahm makes his third straight Ryder Cup appearance after making a winning debut at Le Golf National in 2018.
The Spaniard only won one point from a possible three there (a singles victory over Tiger Woods) but was more successful in the last renewal; winning 3 ½ points from a possible 5 in that underperforming Euro side. Though with three of those victories coming when paired with the absent Sergio Garcia, he’ll have to form a new partnership here.
That should be no problem for this year’s Masters champ and looking in good ball-striking form when we last saw him finishing 4th at Wentworth, his game looks primed for another positive Ryder Cup showing.
- Ryder Cup Record: Rookie
- World Ranking: 55th
Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre is the first of Team Europe’s four rookies this year. Gaining his place on the team by finishing 3rd on the European Points List.
Though making his Ryder Cup debut this week, he has plenty of team golf experience. He played well in the losing Walker Cup side as an amateur in 2017, with a 6 & 4 victory over Cameron Champ a highlight. Whilst he also took part in the Hero Cup this year – a Ryder Cup-style event contested between GB&I and Continental Europe – where he won three of his four matches.
Macintyre has struggled for form since being sensationally denied by Rory McIlroy in the Scottish Open a couple of months ago and didn’t find much in France last week. However, the Scot is a gritty competitor and as the winner of the Italian Open at this venue last year, we know he has the game for Marco Simone.
- Ryder Cup Record: 0 – 3 – 2
- World Ranking: 4th
Norway’s Viktor Hovland has been one of the hottest players on the planet over recent months and will be hoping for much better luck on his second Ryder Cup appearance after debuting at Whistling Straits two years ago.
Though winless in 2021, Hovland personally performed well that week and along with Jon Rahm they were the only players from Team Europe to play five matches.
He has plenty of team golf experience from his amateur years and we can find evidence of his match play credentials from that period of his career too, as the 2018 winner of the US Amateur at Pebble Beach.
Hovland recorded the then biggest win of his career in the Memorial Tournament at the start of June and finished the 2022/23 PGA Tour season as the FedExCup champion following back-to-back victories at the BMW Championship and Tour Championship. He’s hitting the ball superbly, is a good putter and has a much-improved short game; all which should lead to him being a star performer in Italy.
- Ryder Cup Record: 2 – 4 – 1
- World Ranking: 11th
Tyrrell Hatton is another player making his third straight appearance after debuting at Le Golf National in 2018.
He won his only point there in a fourballs match partnered with Paul Casey and again saw his only win in 2021 come in that format, alongside Shane Lowry. Losing both singles matches and his solo foursomes match across those two appearances.
Hatton will feel he has a point to prove this week and with his game looking in excellent shape pretty much all year – evidenced again when 2nd last-time-out at Wentworth – he looks in a positive enough place to make his mark in Italy.
- Ryder Cup Record: 0 – 5 – 0
- World Ranking: 8th
If you feel Hatton may have something to prove in this event, then Fitzpatrick certainly has. Last year’s US Open winner is making his third Ryder Cup appearance after debuting in 2016 and returning in 2021; both times playing on the losing side.
In both of those editions, Fitzpatrick has yet to win a single point, losing all five matches but he does arrive here as a more complete golfer. Having won that first major title last year and adding to his wins stateside by taking the RBC Heritage earlier this year.
He has plenty of promising experience that should signal a player who has the mettle to perform in this event. He was a commanding winner of the US Amateur in 2013; the same year he won three of four matches at the Walker Cup.
Fitzpatrick’s recent form has been good with two top 3s in his last four starts, whilst he has some excellent experience of this year’s venue, finishing 2nd to Robert MacIntyre in last year’s Italian Open. Combine with the strength of his putting and driving – two things which have proved important here – and I’d be surprised if he’s still winless in the Ryder Cup at the completion of this week.
- Ryder Cup Record: 4 – 2 – 2
- World Ranking: 14th
Tommy Fleetwood makes it three Ryder Cup appearances on the bounce having debuted in 2018 and is the first of Luke Donald’s six captains picks this week.
Who can forget the sensational Moliwood pairing of that 2018 edition, as he and Francesco Molinari proceeded to win all four of their foursomes/fourballs matches; playing a pivotal part in helping Europe regain the trophy.
Things didn’t go quite as well two years ago, as he played just three matches and failed to record a win, however he did finish all-square twice.
Fleetwood finished 2nd in the 2021 Italian Open here and currently playing his best golf since 2019 – which has enabled him to record seven top 10s in his nine most recent starts – I expect him to be an important part of the team.
- Ryder Cup Record: Rookie
- World Ranking: 22nd
Sepp Straka makes his debut as the second Austrian to play the Ryder Cup after Bernd Wiesberger and is also the second of captain Donald’s picks.
He has little in the way of overwhelming appearances in similar events, or indeed match play events. Though he did play the Hero Cup at the start of this year, winning two of his four matches.
Straka’s results can be a little erratic but he’s now a two-time PGA Tour winner after his win at the John Deere Classic, which he immediately followed with an excellent runner-up finish in The Open; form which he has largely maintained since. He’s a good putter and has hit the ball just about as well as ever this year, and he may just surprise a few this week.
- Ryder Cup Record: 13 – 8 – 2
- World Ranking: 36th
Justin Rose returns to the Ryder Cup fold as the third captains pick, after missing out on qualification for the first time since 2010, at Whistling Straits two years ago. This will be his sixth appearance after making his debut in 2008 and playing on the winning sides in 2012, 2014 and 2018.
He has an excellent record in the event and made his mark right away, winning three of four matches in 2008. He repeated that feat at Medinah in 2012, though his best performance came in 2014, as he played five times and remained undefeated; winning three and finishing all-square twice.
He’s never taken less than two points in any appearance and performs well across the format, though has proven a particularly reliable foursomes partner, possessing seven wins and a half in ten matches.
Though Rose is obviously not the player he once was, he is playing his best golf since 2019 and returned to the winners’ circle at Pebble Beach earlier in the year. With his irons firing and veterans such as Sergio and Poulter now missing, his quality experience may prove vital this week.
- Ryder Cup Record: 1 – 2 – 0
- World Ranking: 34th
Shane Lowry had a Ryder Cup debut to forget in 2021 but as someone whose enthusiasm for the event outweighs many, he’ll be eager to make a more striking impact this time around.
His debut saw him win one of his three matches: a narrow fourballs success alongside Tyrrell Hatton. His record in this style of event didn’t improve much in the Hero Cup at the start of this year, as he lost all four matches in the event.
Lowry has had a solid year, with eleven top 20s in twenty-four starts but little in the way of true standout performances, though he did look better when 3rd in the Irish Open two starts ago. It is a bit of a concern that his usually electric short-game has deserted him this year, with him producing the worst SG: around-the-greens numbers of his career.
- Ryder Cup Record: Rookie
- World Ranking: 80th
Two exciting, big-hitting Scandi rookies complete Team Europe’s lineup, starting with Sweden’s, Ludvig Aberg.
The former world #1 amateur has taken the professional game by storm since turning pro in June and if he wasn’t already in the team following his subsequently impressive performances on the PGA Tour, his win at Crans in the European Masters two starts ago certainly sealed the deal.
The towering, smooth-swinging Swede has looked masterful with the driver, combining immense power with accuracy and also has a neat and tidy short-game; whilst his irons have started to come to the boil on recent starts in Europe.
Having said that, he reminded us of his youth at Wentworth two weeks ago, suffering a final-round collapse; going from a two-shot lead to a 10th-place finish.
Aberg has plenty of experience of team golf, winning each of his four matches in the 2020 Arnold Palmer Cup and like most, I’m excited to see what he has in store for us next week.
- Ryder Cup Record: Rookie
- World Ranking: 81st
The final place on the side seemed like a straight battle between Poland’s Adrian Meronk and Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard, and it’s the latter that got the nod to make his Ryder Cup debut in Rome ahead of the unlucky Pole.
The Dane is currently enjoying the best statistical year of his career, as he spent the middle part of 2023 on the PGA Tour. He took advantage when 2nd in the Corales Puntacana and he was an excellent 6th in a strong field in the Scottish Open. Whilst upon his return to Europe, he’s recorded two top 5s in three starts.
Hojgaard is the blueprint of the modern pro, possessing a power-packed ball-striking game, which has worked well for him in Rome before. As he won the very first edition of the Italian Open here in 2021 and finished inside the top 5 again this year.
He showed his potential suitability to this format by going undefeated in the Hero Cup in January, winning three and halving one of his four matches. Doing so in the company of Team Europe vice-captain, Francesco Molinari may well have helped swing him that final place on the team.
Captain: Zach Johnson
- Ryder Cup Record: 2 – 0 – 1
- World Ranking: 1st
World #1, Scottie Scheffler returns for his second Ryder Cup appearance, after playing as a rookie on the winning side in 2021.
He went undefeated there, winning a fourballs and his singles match, tying another fourballs contest. However, he had a poor time last year in the Presidents Cup, gaining just half a point from four matches.
We shouldn’t doubt his ability to perform this week though, he’s an excellent match player, as shown by him reaching the semi final stage of the last three WGC Match Play events – including a win in 2022.
Scheffler has comfortably been the strongest tee-to-green player in the world this year, putting up some of the best numbers of all time, which have helped him manage twelve top 5s in twenty starts and a finish no worse than 31st all year. Whilst the putter has stopped him adding more than two wins – the Phoenix Open and PLAYERS Championship – he’s bound to be a force in Italy.
- Ryder Cup Record: Rookie
- World Ranking: 10th
Wyndham Clark is the first of four rookies on the US Team. He achieved this spot thanks to finishing second on the US Points list, which was largely engineered by a superb six-week spell in the middle part of the year. Where he not only became a PGA Tour winner for the first time in the Wells Fargo Championship but followed up four starts later with a major championship victory in the US Open.
His match play and team golf records are sparse. He did play in the 2014 Palmer Cup as an amateur – a similar event between the US and Europe – but went winless, halving two and losing two of his four matches. Though he has played well in the Zurich Classic the last two years, finishing top 10 both times, including 3rd this year. Potentially pointing to a reasonable comfort level in a team environment.
Clark has been doing everything well this year and has historically been an excellent putter. With a highly competitive personality to boot I think he will be a good fit for the event.
- Ryder Cup Record: Rookie
- World Ranking: 9th
Brian Harman is the second rookie on the US side after finishing third on the points list. A position predominantly achieved because of his surprisingly emphatic win in The Open this year.
Whilst not playing in any of these types of events as a pro, he had a good record in similar amateur events. He played on both winning US teams in the 2005 and 2009 Walker Cups, winning five from a possible eight points and was even more impressive in the 2007 Palmer Cup, winning each of his three matches.
Harman has also got a solid record in the WGC Match Play, reaching the quarters in 2021 and as the best putter in this event over the last three months, I suspect he’ll prove a very frustrating opponent this week.
- Ryder Cup Record: 3 – 0 – 1
- World Ranking: 5th
Patrick Cantlay was impressive on his Ryder Cup debut in 2021, winning 3 ½ points from a possible 4 and forming a particularly strong partnership with Xander Schauffele in foursomes (winning both of their matches); something I expect to continue this year.
He has one of the most impressive records in the Presidents Cup in recent years, winning six of nine matches (again regularly paired with Schauffele) and has never lost in the singles across either event.
Cantlay has had a strong year, with eight top 5s and just two missed cuts in twenty starts and is hitting the ball better than ever. He has one of the strongest profiles for the event, with the only negative being that his usually trusty putter has been a little underwhelming over recent months, as he enters the event ranking 16th of the twenty-four players on the greens since the end of June.
- Ryder Cup Record: Rookie
- World Ranking: 7th
Max Homa is rookie #3 for the US Side. Getting rewarded for his ascension into that elite bracket of golfer over the last couple of years.
He made an impressive debut in the Presidents Cup last year, winning all four of his matches and took down star of the show, Tom Kim in the singles. Whilst he was also part of the winning US team in the 2013 Walker Cup, contributing two points from the three matches he played.
Homa has put up five top 10 finishes in a row entering this week and with his game looking in form across the board, I expect his Ryder Cup debut to go a similar way to that of his Presidents Cup.
- Ryder Cup Record: 3 – 1 – 0
- World Ranking: 6th
Xander Schauffele makes his second Ryder Cup appearance after debuting in the 2021 winning side.
I’ve already mentioned his strong relationship with Patrick Cantlay there, as well as in recent Presidents Cups. Across those three appearances he’s won two of three singles matches: his only defeat coming against Rory McIlroy in 2021.
Schauffele has been consistently excellent this year, missing zero cuts in twenty starts and recording ten top 10s. He’s a player with no real weaknesses and his recent play has been as good as it has been all year, as he ranks fourth in strokes-gained total over the last four months. The pairing of himself and Cantlay should again prove a vital part of Team USA this year.
- Ryder Cup Record: 6 – 5 – 1
- World Ranking: 15th
Brooks Koepka is one of the more experienced players in the US side, getting ready for his fourth Ryder Cup appearance this week and is the first of Zach Johnson’s six captains picks.
He made an impressive debut in the event in 2016, taking three points from a possible four, helping the US on their way to regaining the trophy. He hasn’t been quite as good on his latest two appearances but has yet to be beaten in singles.
Koepka was in superb form when winning the PGA Championship back in May but it’s hard to gauge where his game is at now. He has looked poor in his last two appearances in LIV, finishing 38th of 48 players in both events. However, he’s a player who has made a career out of being able to prime himself for the big events and a potential pairing with world #1 Scottie Scheffler is sure to be an imposing one.
- Ryder Cup Record: 8 – 7 – 3
- World Ranking: 12th
That at 30-years-old and heading into his fifth Ryder Cup, Jordan Spieth being the most experienced member tells you everything about the youthfulness of Team USA.
Spieth debuted in the losing side at Gleneagles in 2014 and performed well alongside Patrick Reed, as they took 2 ½ points from the three matches they played together. He performed well in 2016 and 2018 though was one of the weaker US players at Whistling Straits.
As you’d expect, he has a good fourballs record, with five wins in seven matches and has taken four points from a possible seven in foursomes – where he’ll likely be paired with good friend, Justin Thomas again – but surprisingly, he has yet to record a win in the singles.
Spieth started the year well and was in particularly good form around Augusta time, recording four top 5s in six starts. His form has dipped since then and he’s been a little unreliable over recent months, with the putter and irons looking weaker than ideal.
- Ryder Cup Record: 3 – 0 – 1
- World Ranking: 19th
Collin Morikawa went unbeaten when making his Ryder Cup debut two years ago and returns this year, as the third captains pick.
He won 3/3 matches when partnered with Dustin Johnson there, then tying his singles match against college rival, Viktor Hovland. He’ll have to find a new partner with DJ absent this year and Cameron Young (who he played with in last year’s Presidents Cup) also not involved. Max Homa appearing most likely.
Morikawa started the year well but suffered a down period after his 10th in the Masters. Although, there have been some improvements over the last two months and with the ball-striking looking as precise as ever at the Tour Championship on his last start, he’ll be a dependable foursomes partner for anyone.
- Ryder Cup Record: Rookie
- World Ranking: 20th
Sam Burns is the final rookie on the US team and will be hoping for a better debut experience than at the Presidents Cup last year, despite the eventual success for the Americans.
There, Burns took just two halves from five matches and left the event winless, spending much of the week paired with Scottie Scheffler. He has twice been on winning amateur sides in similar events; at the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup and 2017 Arnold Palmer Cup, whilst his win in the WGC Match Play earlier in the year highlights his potential in match play.
His form has been solid if unspectacular since then, with eight top 20s in fifteen starts and whilst the tee-to-green game has been fine, it’s the putter that stands out; not a negative in this format. It remains to be seen if the Scheffler pairing will be given another go but a strong-putting possible duo of himself and Harman could be interesting.
- Ryder Cup Record: 3 – 7 – 5
- World Ranking: 25th
Along with Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler is the only other member of Team USA playing their fifth Ryder Cup.
Fowler debuted in 2010 at Celtic Manor and played again in 2014, both on losing sides and failed to pick up a win in either appearance, though did finish all-square in five of the eight matches played over those events; highlighting better performances than bare results suggest.
He was able to rectify that winless record in 2016, winning two of his three matches, but five years ago in France he won just one of four. Something he’ll be aiming to put right this week.
Fowler of course made the team due to his return to form this year, playing his best golf since that last Ryder Cup appearance in 2018. Which eventually took him to a first PGA Tour title in four years at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
- Ryder Cup Record: 6 – 2 – 1
- World Ranking: 24th
Justin Thomas makes up the twenty-four players at Marco Simone and was the most contentious of Johnson’s picks. Though it’s easy to see why he was selected.
Thomas has played in each of the two previous Ryder Cups, debuting as the best player on the US side in 2018 as they were soundly beaten, picking up four wins in five matches and played well again when they regained the trophy in 2021, taking 2 ½ from a possible 4 points.
His Presidents Cup record further highlights his suitability to the event, with ten wins in fifteen matches overall. Whilst he also performed well on winning Palmer and Walker Cup sides during his amateur days.
Thomas simply loves this type of event, where he brings just about as much passion as anyone and truth be told, with the likes of Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau absent, the US are lacking that player who can just get under the skin of the Europeans.
Of course, his form hasn’t been what we’ve become to expect of the two-time PGA Champion, but he looked good when 5th at the Fortinet Championship a couple of weeks ago. As we saw with several players at the Solheim Cup last week, current form can often go out of the window in these events.
The Ryder Cup will be returning to mainland Europe for the third time this week and will be played for the first time in Italy, at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.
The course was originally designed by Jim Fazio in the 1980s and Tom Fazio (his son) renovated it in 2015 to prime it for Ryder Cup consideration, which came to fruition in December that year. It’s a par 71, measuring 7181 yards and looks absolutely perfect for the fun and drama of the event.
Fortunately, having hosted the three previous renewals of the Italian Open on the DP World Tour, we’ve had plenty of chances to see the course in action and we know it offers up a significant challenge, with each of those events – won by Adrian Meronk (2023), Robert MacIntyre (2022) and Nicolai Hojgaard (2021) – won in score of -13 or -14.
It is a largely exposed course, with wide fairways that have ranked as some of the easiest to find on the DP World Tour in recent years. Deep, strategically placed bunkers protect and often encroach on the fairways, whilst gnarly rough awaits for those most wayward, which will be typically amplified for this week.
However, the biggest challenges here are the large, undulating bentgrass green complexes and the difficulties of playing around them. Though they are sizeable, the firmness, shape and angle of many in relation to your fairway position make them tough to hit; whilst they are protected by a plethora of run-off areas and more deep bunkering.
Some tight lies make chipping tricky and Marco Simone has ranked among the six most difficult scrambling courses on the DP World Tour since 2021.
Risk/reward is a huge feature in the Ryder Cup and Marco Simone is no exception. There has been just one alteration from the Italian Open; the shortening of the par 4 5th to 303 yards. Making it one of three drivable par 4s at the venue along with the 329-yard 11th and 303-yard 16th. All of them have water in-play, protecting the left-hand side of the 11th fairway and the greens on the other two.
It is a similar story for the three reachable par 5s, with each nine closing with one such hole. The 589-yard 9th is protected by water all the way up the left-hand side and a deep bunker in the fairway landing area; the 546-yard 12th has one of the narrowest fairways which is littered with bunkers there and in front of the green; whilst the dramatic closing hole requires a downhill shot into a sloping green that has water protecting the left-hand side.
These scoring chances are complimented by a string of demanding holes on which we’ll often see par as a winning score. These include three 500+ yard par 4s (holes 2, 8 and 14) whilst the par 3s have some of the narrowest and toughest-to-find greens on the course.
Conditions are set to be warm and sunny throughout the entire week and there is nothing more than a mild breeze currently forecast to blow. Almost perfect weather for what looks a superb renewal of the event.
4 pts Europe to win the Ryder Cup – 5/4
This year’s event is full of intrigue and I found it almost as difficult to decipher as last week’s Solheim Cup. Both sets of players should be equally suited to the course and have a similar number of players in form/with question marks over them. Though I’m just giving the edge to the Europeans.
Whilst the USA have six players currently sat inside the top 10 in the world, Europe have three of the top 4, in Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland; all of whom have shone over recent starts.
Not just that but recent stats also point towards the Europeans with five players (McIlroy, Rahm, Hovland, Fleetwood and Hatton) ranking inside the top 8 in strokes-gained: total over their last fifty rounds, as opposed to the three Americans: Scheffler, Schauffele and Cantlay.
We also have seven of the Europeans with competitive experience of this week’s course, including two past winners (Hojgaard and MacIntyre).
Finally, the Americans have neither won on European soil nor retained the Ryder Cup since 1993 at The Belfry. All things considered; I fancy Europe to achieve what seemed like a nearly impossible victory after Whistling Straits two years ago.
1 pt Viktor Hovland (Overall Top scorer) – 10/1
1.5 pts Viktor Hovland (Team Europe Top Scorer) – 9/2
There’s plenty of potential star-men on the European side but this feels like Viktor Hovland’s week. He’s been in exceptional form recently, with three wins in his last nine starts and is hitting the ball better than anyone on Team Europe.
Despite playing well enough himself, he’ll want to banish the memory of his debut two years ago and with potential mooted partners such as Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood also in fine form, he could form any number of formidable duos throughout the week.
1 pt Xander Schauffele (Overall Top Scorer) – 10/1
1.5 pts Xander Schauffele (Team USA Top Scorer) – 11/2
I think there’s a few questions of reliability in the US side but that should be no such fear over Xander Schauffele, nor his likely regular playing partner, Patrick Cantlay. Both were considered for this market and may well mirror each other’s scores before the singles but Xander’s slightly better recent stats, particularly on the greens, swayed me in his favour.
He played four matches in the 2021 event and you’d expect he’ll play at least that again this time around. If the USA are to keep hold of the trophy this year, they’re going to need him to perform well.