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Who Makes Luke Donald's European Ryder Cup Team 2023?

The Ryder Cup is not merely a golf event; it is THE golf event. This biennial competition between Europe and the United States showcases passion, camaraderie, and, above all, fierce rivalry. Perhaps what makes Team Europe's journey to the Ryder Cup even more intriguing is its unique selection process, which starkly contrasts with that of its American counterpart.

ryder

Ryder Cup 2023 Venue: Marco Simone Golf & Country Club

The 2023 Ryder Cup, scheduled from September 29 to October 1, finds its grand stage at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, just 10 miles from Rome's vibrant centre. This magnificent club boasts pristine fairways with two standout courses: an 18-hole Championship Course and a picturesque 9-hole Resort Course.
The club's rich legacy intertwines with the historic Marco Simone Castle, and its stewardship rests with architect Laura Biagiotti and her spouse, Gianni Cigna. In preparation for Italy's inaugural Ryder Cup hosting, the club underwent a monumental redesign. European Golf Design, joining forces with Tom Fazio II, embarked on this transformation journey in August 2018, culminating in March 2021, to create a golfing arena par excellence.
As spectators flock to Rome for this pinnacle of golf, they will be stunned not only with unparalleled sport but also with breathtaking views of St. Peter's Basilica and the ageless allure of Marco Simone Castle. A setting with deep-seated history that mirrors that of the upcoming event.

The Selection Process

At the heart of Team Europe's selection lies a points system distinctly different from the USA's. Europe's process is split between European points and World points. The distinction is vital; the European points are accumulated from events on the European Tour, while World points are gathered from Official World Golf Ranking events.
Adding a touch of complexity, the top three players from each of these rankings are automatically enlisted for the Ryder Cup, excluding duplicates. After this process, the captain, this year being Luke Donald, has the privilege to personally pick six players to complete his team.

Current Rankings

Listed below are the current top 10 for European Points and World Points as per the Ryder Cup’s official site.
Ranking correct as of time of writing.

European Points

Rank

Player

Points

1

Rory MCILROY

4033.5

2

Jon RAHM

3417.23

3

Robert MACINTYRE

1743.57

4

Yannik PAUL

1652.9

5

Adrian MERONK

1614.21

6

Tommy FLEETWOOD

1534.37

7

Victor PEREZ

1527.95

8

Rasmus HØJGAARD

1516.86

9

Adrian OTAEGUI

1430.01

10

Shane LOWRY

1290.23

 

World Points

Rank

Player

Points

1

Rory MCILROY

399.29

2

Jon RAHM

392.72

3

Viktor HOVLAND

321.67

4

Tyrrell HATTON

199.17

5

Tommy FLEETWOOD

180.52

6

Matt FITZPATRICK

178.62

7

Sepp STRAKA

144.46

8

Shane LOWRY

105.21

9

Justin ROSE

100.32

10

Robert MACINTYRE

92.32

Selection process for Team Europe is as follows:

  • Three players to qualify automatically from European Points List, three from World Points List
  • Luke Donald will then select six Captain’s Picks
  • Qualification to begin at the BMW PGA Championship from September 8-11

Automatic Qualifiers

Already locked-in are Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Viktor Hovland who have seized their spots. Their performances have consistently been stellar, making them invaluable assets to Luke Donald and the team.
Despite only being prospective qualifiers, Robert MacIntyre, Tyrrell Hatton, and Tommy Fleetwood are close on their heels and are currently the next auto qualifiers. MacIntyre's assertive plays, Fleetwod’s remarkable consistency, and Hatton’s flare could be instrumental in deciding the fate of Team Europe.
The head-to-head format and matchplay games may play into the hands of some of these players as Team Europe looks to win back the prestigious trophy. Those looking for exclusive betting offers from top NZ sites may be looking to take advantage of Rory McIlroy’s excellent consistency of late as he looks to emulate the great European players of the past such as Sir Nick Faldo and Ian Poulter, legends of Team Europe.

 

Projected Captain's Picks

  • Matt Fitzpatrick: The memory of his recent second-place finish at the BMW Championship and his triumphant win at the 2022 U.S. Open is still fresh. Fitzpatrick made his Ryder Cup debut in 2016 so would bring some much appreciated Ryder Cup experience.
  • Sepp Straka: Straka's commendable accomplishments on the PGA Tour have not gone unnoticed. He promises to bring a new wave of energy to the team should Donald opt for the Austrian.
  • Shane Lowry: The winner of the 2019 Open Championship, Lowry's experience and his past Ryder Cup stints make him a formidable candidate.
  • Justin Rose: With impressive top-10 finishes and a significant win at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Rose's inclusion would certainly fortify Team Europe's standing.
  • Yannick Paul and Adrian Meronk: Their prolific performances on the DP World Tour stand testament to their potential, however they do stand on the periphery of Donald’s thinking.
  • A wildcard could be Rasmus Hojgaard, who might surprise many with a captain's pick given his impressive trajectory, young age and appetite for the beautiful game.

Conclusion

Luke Donald's projected team amalgamates experience with fresh talent. With seasoned players and enthusiastic newcomers, Team Europe seems balanced, but challenges are inevitable.
The anticipation is palpable as fans await the final team announcement. As the Ryder Cup inches closer, excitement is at an all-time high, let’s hope the golf lives up to that expectation and we get a Ryder Cup for the ages!