What to watch for in the Ryder Cup

Yahoo Sports' Pam Maldonado provides a primer for the 42nd edition of the battle between the United States and Europe - which the Americans have not won across the Atlantic since 1993.

Video Transcript


PAM MALDONADO: It's the United States against Europe. The PGA TOUR heads to Marco Simone golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy for the Ryder Cup. 12 against 12, three competitive rounds. Some players representing Team United States Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, and Scottie Scheffler. Some playing for Team Europe Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland, and Rory McIlroy.

There's two sessions consisting of foursome and four-ball. Everyone plays their own ball. Cards the best score. Foursome is otherwise known as alternate shot. Then on Sunday, everyone plays as a single. All 12 players will tee it up. Whichever team has the best score combined when it's all said and done, that's the team that wins.

Fun fact, Team USA has not won on European soil since 1993. That's the same year Pearl Jam won an MTV Video Music Award for their song "Jeremy." It's been that long.

Marco Simone golf and Country Club is a par-71, nearly 7,200 yards. Narrow landing spots, doglegs, fairway bunkers. It's pretty much a risk versus reward style of course. Looking at the last 36 rounds on tour, Europeans have three of the four best players. McIlroy, Hovland, and Tommy Fleetwood. During that same span, team United States has three of the four worst players in terms of strokes gained data. Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, and Sam Burns.

To perform well on this course, you need elite driving, demanding both length and accuracy. On paper team, United States and Europe look evenly matched. However, there is one X factor. Many Europeans have played Marcus Simone on the DP Tour.

Nicolai Hojgaard has the most recorded rounds, including a win. Robert McIntyre won this event in 2022. McIlroy, Fleetwood, Hatton, Fitzpatrick, Team Europe has a lot of good history at this course. Unfortunately, the drought for the United States will continue on. Team Europe on European soil will reign supreme.