Out of the Rough: Ryder Cup (2023)
After months of preparation and two years of waiting, we’ve finally made it.
Arguably the largest tournament in the world of golf has arrived as the 12 best golfers of both the USA and Europe are set to battle it out in Rome for the coveted Ryder Cup trophy.
This will be played as the 44th iteration of the Ryder Cup and will take place this year on European soil at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy.
This biannual event serves as the epicenter of golf and comes with a unique match-play scoring to deem the victor.
There will be 28 matches played across three days with a point up for grabs per match.
The first team to get to 14.5 overall points will claim the coveted Ryder Cup trophy.
If a match is tied, a half point will be rewarded. If the event ends in an overall tie (14 to 14) the defending champion of the Ryder Cup regains it. In this case, it would be the United States who defeated Europe 19-9 in 2021.
Each morning for Friday and Saturday, golfers will take part in a foursome format. In this format, pairings will play one ball, alternating shots until the hole is complete. The pairing with the lowest score wins each hole with ties counting as half-point. In this format, one golfer per pairing will tee off on even holes and the other will tee off on odd holes.
The afternoons for Friday and Saturday will see golfers take part in a four-ball style format. In these four-ball matches, each golfer will play their own ball. Whoever records the lowest score wins the hole for their pairing. If the lowest scores are tied, each side will receive 0.5 points.
Sunday, the final day, will be singles matches. This one is simple, one golfer from each team will play head-to-head with the lowest score per hole winning the hole. Again, ties will count as half a point.
There isn’t a requirement that each hole be completed by each golfer either. Golfers, or teams, can concede a hole. This means that they essentially give the hole to the opposing pairing or golfer and move on.
This is also the case with each round. If a pairing or golfer gets a large lead and it is not possible for the opposing pairing or golfer to reach that score, the round will be cut short.
Here are the golfers for each team along with their Ryder Cup experience. The number next to them will include this year in number of Ryder Cup’s played.
Sam Burns - First
Patrick Cantlay - Second
Wyndham Clark - First
Rickie Fowler - Fifth
Brian Harman - First
Max Homa - First
Brooks Koepka - Fourth
Collin Morikawa - Second
Xander Schauffele - Second
Scottie Scheffler - Second
Jordan Spieth - Fifth
Justin Thomas - Third
Ludvig Aberg - First
Matthew Fitzpatrick - Third
Tommy Fleetwood - Third
Tyrrell Hatton - Third
Nicolai Hojgaard - First
Viktor Hovland - Second
Shane Lowry - Second
Robert MacIntyre - First
Rory McIlroy - Sixth
Jon Ragm - Third
Justin Rose - Sixth
Sepp Straka - First
Fowler leads Team USA in experience, playing in his fifth edition. The likes of Koepka, Morikawa, Schauffele, Scheffler, Spieth and Thomas were a part of the 2021 Ryder Cup that saw Team USA win 19-9.
Team USA will also feature four Ryder Cup rookies in Burns, Clark, Harman and Homa.
McIlroy and Rose lead Team Europe in experience, each playing in their sixth Ryder Cup.
Team Europe will include four rookies as well with the likes of Aberg, Hojgaard, McIntyre and Straka.
The DP World Tour played the DS Automobiles Italian Open at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club back in May.
Hojgaard was the highest finisher of those playing this week that played here back in May, recording a T5th.
Marco Simone Golf and Country Club plays as a par 71 at 7,268 yards.
It is a Jim Fazio and David Mezzacane design parkland layout that is a hilly and undulating course. It was revamped by Tom Fazio and Jeremy Slessor of European Golf Design in August of 2018 and October 2020.
The greens have been described as immaculate but beyond that, the rest of the course is not particularly well received by the golfing world.
This is a course that requires a well rounded game to succeed.
The requirement of a well rounded game is evident with the importance of Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, the statistic that is best used to measure difficult courses.
Greens in regulation percentage too is important when it comes to Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.
Putting on these difficult green complexes that oftentimes play above the fairways will be both tricky and therefore important.
As mentioned about the difficult green complexes that play above the fairways, scrambling will too be of the utmost importance this week as well.
The finishing stretch at this week’s course is interesting and has the ability to produce plenty of drama. After a run of three straightforward holes from 11-to-13, golfers are faced with a pair of tough par four holes before an interesting final three.
This makes for dramatics coming down the stretch and some must-watch television.
As of the time of writing this, the weather looks ideal for this week. There is a little-to-no-chance for precipitation across all three days this week. Temperatures are set for 84-to-85 degrees for each day as well. Additionally, winds will range from seven-to-eight miles-per-hour for the three days. In all, ideal conditions for the 44th playing of the Ryder cup.
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG: TTG)
Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)
Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: PUTT)
Birdie or Better Percentage
Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP)
Unique to this week’s DFS playing on DraftKings is the Captain’s Pick. This selection will receive 1.5x their points scored this week. This is what will differentiate your lineup from everyone else. It’s hard to not go with the likes of Scheffler, Rahm, McIlroy and Hovland but I’m going to go another direction here to both set myself apart from everyone else and allow me great lineup flexibility. I’m going with Xander Schauffele ($12,300.) Schauffele played in the 2021 edition of the Ryder Cup where he finished the week 3-1-0. He won his one four-ball matchup last year and won both of the foursome contests. He lost his singles matchup. Schaffuele comes into this week as arguably the most rounded golfer which is what I’m hanging my hat on. He finished the 2022-2023 PGA TOUR season third in SG: APP, fourth in SG: PUTT, sixth in birdie or better percentage, ninth in SG: TTG, 24th in scrambling and 26th in GIR%.
I’m leaning Patrick Cantlay ($9,000) in this price range. For the same reasons I like Schauffele, I like Cantlay. They’re both very well rounded golfers. Cantlay finished the season second in birdie or better percentage, third in both SG: TTG and bogey avoidance, 11th in GIR%, 15th in SG: APP, 27th in scrambling and 43rd in SG: PUTT. Cantlay also played in the 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup where he went 3-0-1. He lost his four-ball matchup but won both his foursome matches and won his singles match. It boils down to consistency and being well rounded, which is Cantlay’s game.
This is where Schauffele falls into. He’s my pay in this price range.
After going with two golfers who have played in a Ryder Cup previously, I’m going with a debutant here in Max Homa ($7,600.) Homa finished the last PGA TOUR season fifth in birdie or better percentage, sixth in SG: PUTT, seventh in bogey avoidance, 14th in scrambling, 15th in SG: TTG, 26th in SG: APP and 81st in GIR%. I believe putting will be the difference this week and when Homa is on, he’s one of the best putters in the world.
I’m going with a Ryder Cup veteran here in Justin Rose ($6,000.) I believe that experience can and will go a long way and there is just one other golfer in this 24 man field that has the same amount of experience as Rose. Rose has played in five other Ryder Cups (2008, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.) He has an overall record of 13-8-2. He’s dominated foursomes with a record of 7-2-1. He also finished this past PGA TOUR season 17th in SG: APP, 26th in birdie or better percentage, 28th in SG: TTG, 29th in SG: PUTT, 48th in scrambling, 68th in bogey avoidance and 105th in GIR%.
At just 22 years-old, Nicolai Hojgaard ($4,800) will be making his Ryder Cup debut. On the DP World Tour he’s been one of the Tour’s best golfers. Dating back to July he has gone T6th at the Genesis Scottish Open, T23rd at The Open Championship, third at the D+D Real Czech Masters and T5th at the Omega European Masters. He’s also second on the DP World Tour in SG: TTG and ninth in GIR%, the two most important stats I’m hanging my hat on this week.