The 23-time tennis grand slam champion and Welsh football icon will take part in an All-Star match two days prior to the 44th edition of the biennial tournament at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome, Italy, on September 27.
Rather than pitting Europe against the USA, however, the celebrity contest will be fought between teams led by Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin, who squared off against each other as non-playing captains at the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales.
Team Monty sees Bale and Djokovic joined by Italian Olympic surfer Leonardo Fioravanti, Garrett Hilbert from YouTube content creators Dude Perfect, as well as England’s Kipp Popert, the world’s No. 1 ranked golfer with a disability.
Meanwhile, Team Pavin is made up of Ferrari Formula One driver Carlos Sainz, Ukrainian football legend Andriy Shevchenko, Hollywood actor Kathryn Newton, former Super Bowl-winning wide receiver Victor Cruz and Italy’s Tomasso Perrino, who – like Popert – is a recent winner on the Golf for the Disabled (G4D) Tour.
Montgomerie – who famously never lost a singles match during eight appearances at the tournament – will be hoping for a repeat of the result at Celtic Manor 13 years ago, where his European side edged out a nail-biting 14.5 – 13.5 victory.
The Scotsman will pair with Bale for their matchup with Pavin and Shevchenko and looks to have recruited smartly.
Former Real Madrid and Tottenham star Bale made no secret of his love for golf during a glittering playing career and won widespread plaudits after a dazzling display at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February.
“The Ryder Cup is a special event,” the five-time Champions League winner said in a press release.
“Having experienced the incredible atmosphere at Europe’s win in 2010, I can’t wait to experience some of that magic again in Rome in a few weeks’ time.
“The All-Star Match, under the Captaincy of Colin Montgomerie, will be an amazing experience and I’m really looking forward to teeing it up with some great people. It’s sure to be a top event and one the fans will really enjoy.”
Djokovic, chasing a record-extending 24th grand slam title at the US Open this week, will be tasked with defeating Sainz and Perrino alongside Popert.
“I can’t wait to tee it up in Rome and experience the incredible atmosphere of a Ryder Cup, which has become legendary,” Djokovic said.
“The course looks like a fantastic test of golf and my playing partner Kipp, a seasoned pro, has won a lot on the G4D Tour recently, so I’m confident we can get a point for the team. It’s going to be a great spectacle for the fans.”
UK viewers can watch the event live via Sky Sports, while the Golf Channel will be showing live coverage in the US. The Ryder Cup YouTube channel will also stream the match.
The Ryder Cup tees off on the same course two days later, with Team Europe looking to avenge a historically crushing 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits in 2021 and Team USA seeking to end a 30-year wait for a victory away from home.
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