A general view of the 16th green at Marco Simone Golf Club during the Sunday singles matches of the 2023 Ryder Cup.

How Europe Made the Most of Home Advantage in the Ryder Cup

The 2023 Ryder Cup lived up to all expectations, with the European team, who suffered a 19-9 hammering in 2021, striking back on home soil. On Sunday, the side recorded a comprehensive 16.5-11.5 victory over the USA.

A general view of the 16th green at Marco Simone Golf Club during the Sunday singles matches of the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Huge crowds supported Europe’s successful challenge on the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club Ryder Cup. ©Getty

Team Captain, former Ryder Cup winner and world number one player Luke Donald, was widely praised for his handling of the side – especially the pairings he chose in the foursomes and four balls, which proved the foundations of the European success.

Donald said after his team’s triumph: “It’s still sinking in, really, it’s been a long process and journey. It was an amazing week sharing this with my teammates and the families.” There were immediate calls from the players for Donald to retain the captaincy for the 2025 renewal of the Ryder Cup in New York.

How Europe Won the Ryder Cup

A brilliant first day saw Europe take an early stranglehold on the Cup with four wins in the morning foursomes. That was followed in the afternoon session with one win and three draws in the four-balls. After that, carrying a six-point deficit, the USA faced an uphill task to retain the trophy.

Day two produced another dominant European display in the foursomes. There were three wins from four – including a history-making 9&7 drubbing of Scott Scheffler and Brooks Koepka by Ryder Cup rookie Ludvig Aberg and Viktor Hovland. The result represents the worst performance in the competition’s 96-year history. The loss also brought Scottie Scheffler to tears.

The afternoon four-balls did see the USA hit top form. A 3-1 win in the session put them within striking distance of the European side going into the final day when 12 singles matches were up for decision.

Singles Day is, inevitably, a tense and emotional affair. Although there were some entertaining albeit tricky-looking moments throughout the day, the European team held its nerve admirably. Honours were even at the end, with both teams winning five matches and two others finishing all square.

Rory and Rose Get the Max

The top honours amongst the players from both teams went to Rory McIlroy. He impressively won four of his five matches. The Northern Irishman was the highest-scoring player, but Tyrrell Hatton (3.5 points), Viktor Hovland (3.5), Jon Rahn (3) and Tommy Fleetwood (3) were also outstanding for the Europeans.

It was a transformation from tears to cheers for McIlroy – who was in despair after a poor showing at Whistling Straits in 2021 – as he celebrated his seventh and this time winning Ryder Cup appearance. “It’s been a tough week, and the more I play in this event, the more I realise that it’s the best event in golf, bar none. I love being part of it, and I don’t think there’s any greater privilege than being part of the European or American teams,” he commented.

Ryder Cup rookies Robert MacIntyre (2.5 points) and Ludvig Aberg (2) produced some magical golf over the three days of play. They seem sure to develop into pivotal players for Europe at the next Ryder Cup and possibly 2027’s event.

Justin Rose was presented with the Nicklaus-Jacklin Award for players who exemplify the true spirit of the Ryder Cup. Rose was the third player to gain the award, following Justin Johnson and Sergio Garcia, and after multiple Ryder Cup appearances, this will probably be his last for the team.

The outstanding player for the USA was rookie Max Homa. Ranked seventh in the world, he notched up an impressive three-and-a-half-points for his team. Hopes will be high that he can lead the charge for the Americans in 2025.

Turf Accountants Say Home Soil Will Count

The USA are as short as 8/11 to gain revenge by winning the 2025 Ryder Cup. Golf betting sites offer the Europeans at 7/4, with the draw chalked up at 12/1. The last five Ryder Cups held on American soil have seen the home team triumph three times. But winning performances in 2004 and 2012 have proven that the USA can be beaten in their own backyard.

It is easy to be tempted by the European odds after their impressive performance in Italy. However, the Americans will have the advantage of a loud, often boisterous, and very biased crowd to cheer them on. It can make a huge difference.

The Ryder Cup venue in 2025 is the famous Bethpage Black course in suburban Long Island, close to New York City. The Black Course is one of five golf courses in the scenic Bethpage State Park and is the toughest for golfers to navigate.

7,468 yards long, the course is enormous. It carries the famous warning that ‘The Black Course is an extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers’. Superstar golfer Jordan Spieth has described it as “up there with the hardest I’ve ever played in my life.”

So, as the dust settles on a famous win for the Europeans, the build-up for Ryder Cup 2025 begins. The Americans will be chomping at the bit to take their revenge. They have almost two years to draw up their battle plan. There will be fireworks and more explosive action.

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Matthew Fitzpatrick plays his tee shot on the 14th hole in his match against Max Homa during the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Author: James Richardson