Scores and updates as Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm lead Europe against USA

The Ryder Cup begins this morning with Europe and the USA playing four matches of foursomes at Marco Simone in Rome.

Captains Luke Donald and Zach Johnson have selected their pairings for the first session of what promises to be a gripping team golf battle. Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton combine for an exciting opening pair to take on Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns, while Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood battle Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.

Follow all the action from day one of the biggest event in golf below. Get all the latest golf betting sites offers here.

Ryder Cup 2023 – Day 1

  • Europe take on USA in the Ryder Cup 2023 at Marco Simone, Rome

  • Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton – Europe 2 UP (10)

  • Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg – Europe 3UP (9)

  • Fowler/Morikawa v Lowry/Straka – Europe 3UP (8)

  • Schauffele/Cantlay v McIlroy/Fleetwood – Europe 1UP (7)

  • Viktor Hovland’s hole-in-three ignites European passion on eve of Ryder Cup

  • Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton bring ‘fire’ to Europe’s Ryder Cup bid

Rahm chips in to tie hole

08:54 , Ben Fleming

Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton 2UP (10)

What on earth was in Jon Rahm’s cereal this morning? The Spaniard has been threatening the pin all morning long and chips in remarkable fashion with Europe in all sorts of trouble on the tenth.

Hatton’s drive had them in trouble before Rahm was forced to lay up but a superb chip-in means the US only have a putt to half the hole. Scheffler makes no mistake but that’s a huge boost for Europe who looked certain to lose that hole.

Viktor Hovland heroics ignite early European charge at Ryder Cup

08:51 , Ben Fleming

If you are just tuning in, then what a start you have missed. It’s been electric so far and mainly from the boys in blue as Europe lead in all four games as things stand.

Catch up on all this morning’s action below:

Viktor Hovland heroics ignite early European charge at Ryder Cup

Euro in control of match two

08:49 , Ben Fleming

Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg – 3UP (9)

This match is one-way traffic at the minute and Aberg pours in another putt from mid range to extend Europe’s lead as they make the turn.

What a start for the young rookie.

Chances passing Europe by

08:47 , Ben Fleming

Schauffele/Cantlay v McIlroy/Fleetwood 1UP (7)

Fleetwood is streaky with the putter, no doubt, but it’s fairly cold so far. The Engllishman has a look at birdie to win the hole after Schauffele’s putt misses on the right but he just can’t convert as it slides by on the right.

Europe remain one up. This match is very tight.

Morikawa in the water; Europe go three up

08:40 , Ben Fleming

Fowler/Morikawa v Lowry/Straka 3UP (8)

Straka found the water in this match a few holes earlier, but it’s the US now who are in the drink as Morikawa’s iron shot in the par-four eighth comes up short.

Straka, in turn, rams up the pressure with a superb approach into the green which comes to rest just under 10 feet from the hole. Fowler’s fifth shot comes up way short of the hole and the US concede the hole.

Two in two for Europe, and they now lead three up after eight holes.

Fleetwood misses birdie chance

08:36 , Ben Fleming

Schauffele/Cantlay v McIlroy/Fleetwood 1UP (6)

A fiery atmosphere in this last game with not many putts conceded so far. Fleetwood has a good look at birdie putt it just doesn’t come in enough from the right.

Both teams hole out for par and on we go.

A couple of pars

08:34 , Ben Fleming

Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg – 2UP (8)

A couple of looks at birdie for both sides but nothing doing as Aberg knocks in for par to secure the tied hole. Europe remain two up.

Burns in the water but US escape with a half

08:33 , Ben Fleming

Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton 2UP (9)

More trouble for the American’s first pairing as Burns goes into the water with his second into the ninth green. Scheffler does well out of the rough to get the ball on the green to around ten feet but it’s a huge chance for Europe.

Rahm is short of the green and it’s a slight unforced error from the Spaniard as his chips runs on a bit more than he’d have hoped. Hatton can’t convert that look at birdie and Burns rolls in the par putt to escape with par.

That’s a couple of really good opportunities that Europe have passed up in the last two holes.

Lowry and Straka go two up

08:28 , Ben Fleming

Fowler/Morikawa v Lowry/Straka 2UP (7)

Fowler and Morikawa haven’t quite clicked so far for the US. Fowler, in particular, has struggled early on as he races a putt past the hole.

Lowry leaves his birdie putt just short to win the hole but still work to be done for the US…and Morikawa misses and can’t save par.

Europe go two up in the third match. Trouble for America. Real trouble.

McIlroy and Fleetwood stay ahead

08:22 , Ben Fleming

Schauffele/Cantlay v McIlroy/Fleetwood – 1UP (4)

Onto the driveable par-four fifth and Europe have the advantage off the tee as McIlroy finds the green. The US miss right off the tee but it’s a superb chip from off the green to tap-in range.

Fleetwood lags his eagle effort short and there’s still work to be done…no mistake from Rory.

They remain 1UP over Schauffele and Cantlay.

Europe stay ahead

08:19 , Ben Fleming

Fowler/Morikawa v Lowry/Straka 1UP (6)

Fowler and Morikawa got one back on the fifth and should have one back on the sixth but Fowler misses out with a short putt. The US could really do with starting to turn some of these matches and that was about as good of a chance as you’re likely to see.

Aberg misses out

08:18 , Ben Fleming

Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg – 2UP (7)

Another chance for Europe in this match but Aberg efforts just misses on the right edge of the hole. Still, a great start from him and Hovland.

Europe lead in all four

08:14 , Ben Fleming

Schauffele/Cantlay v McIlroy/Fleetwood – 1UP (4)

The start that Luke Donald would have dreamed of when he went to bed last night. McIlroy pours in a birdie effort and Europe go ahead in the final match too.

Up in all four. Perfect.

Missed chance for Europe

08:12 , Ben Fleming

Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton 2UP (8)

More problems for this opening US pair as Burns goes way left with his effort. Scheffler can only hack it out short of the green and Rahm takes full advantage with a precise shot from the fairway to ramp up the pressure on the US.

Burns responds well with a good chip shot but Hatton will have a look for the birdie…misses. Just to the right.

Scheffler with a chance to tie the hole from six feet and the World No.1 makes no mistake. That’s a great tie for the US and a missed opportunity for Europe.

Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg – 2UP (6)

08:07 , Ben Fleming

That’s more like it, Ludvig. The Swede has made a nervy start to today’s action, but he rolls in a 12-foot putt on the sixth green for birdie to restore Europe’s two-up advantage.

Not a single hole has been halved so far in this match. Non-stop action but it’s Europe who lead.

Water trouble for Europe

08:05 , Ben Fleming

Fowler/Morikawa v Lowry/Straka 1UP (5)

Far from ideal from Straka off the tee as his tee shot into the fourth leeks left and into the water. However, it’s a superb third from the Lowry at the drop zone as his shot comes spinning back close to the hole.

It’s just a par, though, and Morikawa cuts the lead in this third match as they make birdie after Fowler’s cute chip down the slope.

All square n the final match

08:02 , Ben Fleming

Schauffele/Cantlay v McIlroy/Fleetwood – A/S (3)

This one is just bubbling under the surface as the other matches are off to a flying start. Cantlay’s birdie putt just refuses to drop on the left side while McIlroy’s effort is left out to the left, too.

All square thru three in the final match.

Rahm almost holes out

08:01 , Ben Fleming

Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton 2UP (7)

It’s only been seven holes but we’ve almost had a hole in one! Rahm’s tee shot into the seventh is almost perfect, as it rattles the flag stick and comes to a stop right by the hole. Remarkable shot.

The US team can’t follow suit and they’re back to two down early doors in this one.

Europe win another hole in match three

07:58 , Ben Fleming

Fowler/Morikawa v Lowry/Straka 2UP (4)

A sea of blue is spreading across the board as Europe go two up in this match. Lowry hits a divine iron into the fourth which sets up a tap-in birdie for Straka. The US team can’t follow him in for the birdie and it’s a nice lead early on for the Euros in this sone.

Europe back ahead

07:55 , Ben Fleming

Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg – 1UP (6)

Oh, Max. That is not good. He takes on the short par four but it’s right into the trouble beyond the hole. Harman can only hack it out but it’s right back off the other side of the green.

Aberg, though, is still struggling early doors as he fails to get his eagle chance down to the hole. Hovland misses out with the birdie but Europe do end up taking the hole after Harmon can’t save par.

Fortunate for Europe but they are back ahead.

Burns pulls one back the US

07:53 , Ben Fleming

Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton 1UP (6)

Now that is more like it from Scheffler, an inch-perfect iron shot into the sixth putts all the pressure on Europe.

Hatton can’t convert his look at birdie and Burns makes no mistake to bring Europe back to one up.

Lowry and Straka take early lead

07:51 , Ben Fleming

Fowler/Morikawa v Lowry/Straka 1UP (3)

An unforced error from Fowler into the third is punished by Lowry’s approach which uses the slopes excellently to nurdle the ball down to the hole.

A great look for Straka to convert…and he makes no mistake! A good start for Europe in match three.

Homa and Hatton back to all square

07:43 , Ben Fleming

Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg – A/S (4)

Aberg is clearly still exercising a few early nerves as he pulls his iron shot into the thick rough on the par-three fourth. That’s a really tough shot for Hovland and, even with his early chipping success, the Norwegian gets a bit too cute with it and leaves it in the rough.

Aberg has a chip to halve the hole…and it lips out! The Swede almost began to celebrate but it just avoids the bottom of the cup. A solid fightback for the US team in this one but somewhat of an unforced error from the European duo.

Fowler/Morikawa v Lowry/Straka – A/S (2)

07:40 , Ben Fleming

Nothing separating these two in the early stages as they both miss out on looks at birdie on the second.

Rahm and Hatton go two up

07:38 , Ben Fleming

Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton 2UP (5)

Here come Europe. The first match is crucial for that early momentum and it’s all with Europe on the short par four. They both end up right of the hole but a poor chip from Burns gifts Europe a great chance.

They need no second invitation as Rahm knocks in another birdie to give Europe an even healthier lead.

Tied at the first

07:36 , Ben Fleming

Schauffele/Cantlay v McIlroy/Fleetwood – A/S (1)

A small opening for the US but Cantly’s putt races by the hole. Schauffele knocks it back in for the par and Europe follow them in after McIlroy’s superb chip spins and grabs to a half right by the cup.

They head to the second all tied.

Homa brings the US back

07:33 , Ben Fleming

Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg 1UP (3)

It’s early stages but you don’t want to let any side get too far ahead. Max Homa’s superb birdie putt ensures that.

Moments early Hovland threatened to chip in yet again but his shot just caught the pin but refused to drop.

Europe back to 1 UP.

Europe stay ahead

07:28 , Ben Fleming

Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton 1UP (4)

A really good look for Scheffler on this fourth green after a sublime approach from Sam Burns into the par three. But the World No.1 can’t take advantage from eight feet and the opportunity slides by! Scheffler has had plenty of putting woes so far this year and that’s not an encouraging side from a US perspective.

Rahm’s earlier birdie putt just shaved the right edge of the hole but Europe will be happy to walk off with a half.

Final match under way

07:25 , Ben Fleming

Schauffele/Cantlay v McIlroy/Fleetwood

And here is the big final match now. The American duo are just into the left rough with their tee shot. Meanwhile, Rory’s drive just leeks into the second cut on the right side.

With that, we are fully under way here in Friday’s morning session. A great start for Europe – can they keep it up?

Europe go two up

07:23 , Ben Fleming

Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg 2UP (2)

Just the perfect start in match two for the home side. Harmon hacks out of the bunker but Homa can’t make the 16-footer to save par.

Aberg hacks out of the rough well and his partner Hovland makes no mistake with the par putt to win the hole! Two up through two for the Scandi pair who look like ice cold already.

Missed chance for the US

07:21 , Ben Fleming

Fowler/Morikawa v Lowry/Straka – A/S (1)

Both Lowry and Fowler do well to muscle their tee shots up to the front of the green and they are both left with testy par saves.

Lowry pushes his to the right so there’s a chance for the US here…but Fowler does the same!

That’s a real missed opportunity for the US to get some early red on the board.

Trouble for both teams

07:18 , Ben Fleming

Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg 1UP (1)

Harmon is one of the shortest hitters on tour and that means Homa will be hitting his second from quite some distance. He complains about the lack of wind as it flies into the bunker.

Hovland, though, fails to apply the pressure as he flies the green with his approach. Work to be done for both sides.

Europe take another early lead

07:16 , Ben Fleming

Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton 1UP (3)

Burns has a regulation iron into this third green, but it’s an unforced error which lands short of the green and into the rough.

Hatton fires his pin-high on the left and a good chance for Rahm…and he makes no mistake! Through the fringe and right into the heart of the cup. A really positive start for Europe.

Fowler/Morikawa v Lowry/Straka

07:12 , Ben Fleming

Our first look at the thick rough that Marco Simone has to offer as the third match gets started. Morikawa goes way right for the US, while Straka goes way left with his.

Not given their partners much to work with…

Chances go at the second

07:08 , Ben Fleming

Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton – A/S (2)

An early thing to note from Marco Simone is the undulating nature of the course and the greens. Both teams here have uphill putts on the second hole but both just miss on the right side.

All tied as they head to the third.


07:05 , Ben Fleming

Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg 1UP (1)

No nerves now for Europe in this second match! Hovland goes for the wedge from the fringe and it’s a marvellous chip which never looked like it was going anywhere else. An opening-hole birdie for Europe.

Homa can’t make his birdie putt to halve the hole and Europe take an early lead.

A few nerves for Aberg

07:00 , Ben Fleming

Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg

Totally understandable for the young Swede who becomes the first person to play in the Ryder Cup before playing in a major championship. A slightly nervy swing from the first fairway which just clings on to the right fringe.

Harman, also hitting his first shot in the competition, finds the left side of the green.

Chances at the second

06:57 , Ben Fleming

Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton – A/S (1)

Up to the second and these two pairs are neck and neck. Nothing separates them off the tee and their balls land right next to each other on the green, too.

America with a slight advantage and they’ll get a good read from Europe.

Second match underway

06:54 , Ben Fleming

Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg

Back to the first tee we go for the start of the second match. Homa gets America started and it’s a lovely shot up the right side.

Hovland is the chosen man out of the European duo to get proceedings under way and the ball is like a bullet as it leaves his club. Straight down the middle. Perfect.

All square after one

06:48 , Ben Fleming

Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton – A/S (1)

And a timely reminder of why Scheffler is the World No.1. A remarkable chip from the front of the green which just lips out! So unlucky but that should be a par.

A chance now for Rahm to take the hole…not to be. It’s a big uphiller and just runs out of steam towards the end. All square but a very solid start from Europe.

Advantage Europe

06:45 , Ben Fleming

Scheffler/Burns v Rahm/Hatton

Europe to go first into this green. Hatton with a nine iron and it’s a great start for Europe. Pin high and a good look at birdie.

Burns from the thick rough and the American can only muscle it up to the front edge of the green. A really good chance for Rahm and Hatton to take an early lead.

Meanwhile, back on the first tee, Aberg and Hovland make their way out to a hero’s reception. What a moment for the young Swede.

And we’re off!

06:40 , Ben Fleming

The talking is done and we are ready to go!

The US have the honour as Scheffler has the first tee shot for the visitors. Just left and into the rough.

And it’s advantage Europe as Rahm finds the perfect position on the right side of the fairway with his tee shot.

First match coming up

06:33 , Ben Fleming

Rahm and Hatton begin to make their way to the first tee.

What an amphitheatre…

 (Getty Images)

How does the Ryder Cup work?

06:30 , Ben Fleming

A quick crash course for those new people joining who perhaps aren’t entirely sure how the next three days will unfold.

The first two days consist of a morning and an afternoon session. In the morning sessions, the teams will contest four foursomes matches, whereby two golfers from each team pair up and play alternate shots using the same ball. The best score on each hole wins, with a tie if the scores are equal.

In the afternoon sessions, the teams then compete in four fourball matches, with two golfers from each team pairing up but, this time, using their own ball. The lowest score from either player is used for the team’s overall score for that hole with the best score winning the hole.

Players can play in all four sessions across the first two days, but with only eight slots available for each session some of the 12-man team are rested each time. Each player has to play in at least one session across the first two days.

The third and final day consists of singles matches where one player from Team Europe competes against another player from Team USA. This is standard matchplay, with the best score on each hole winning. All twelve members from each team have to compete in these matches.

There are 28 points at stake in total, with a point being awarded for winning a match, or half a point given to each team if there is a tie after 18 holes. If the overall score is tied at 14-14 come the end of Sunday, the holders (Team USA) will retain the trophy.

That means that for Europe to win the Ryder Cup this year they will need at least 14.5 points.

Padraig Harrington: After 2021, they said we wouldn’t win a Ryder Cup for 20 years. Now Europe are favourites

06:25 , Ben Fleming

There was a point earlier in the year when a 51-year-old Padraig Harrington began to appear on the radar for a Ryder Cup captain’s pick.

The chance of a wild card selection, which would have made him the oldest competitor in the tournament’s history, fell away as the Irishman’s form subsided over the summer, but the three-time major champion still found his phone ringing on the morning of Luke Donald’s captain’s picks.

“Luke rang me when he made the picks to say I hadn’t got one which I thought was very polite. Not necessary, mind you. I knew I wasn’t getting on,” he says.

Just two years ago it was Harrington making those calls. Europe’s Ryder Cup captain in 2021, he was presented with the challenge of trying to mastermind another famous away victory at Whistling Straits.

Harrington: They said we won’t win a Ryder Cup for 20 years. Now Europe are favourite

7.20am BST: Schauffele/Cantlay v McIlroy/Fleetwood

06:19 , Ben Fleming

And what a final match for today’s morning session. The American duo of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele are best mates off the course and dynamite on it. They were unbeaten in America two years ago and will look to keep that streak going against the newly-formed ‘Fleetwood Mac’.

McIlroy and Fleetwood have been on a number of Ryder Cup teams now but this is the first time this pairing will be trialled. It has all the makings of a winning combination but they’ll certainly be in for a tough opening test.

 (Getty Images)

7.05am BST: Fowler/Morikawa v Lowry/Straka

06:16 , Ben Fleming

Another Ryder Cup debut in the form of Sepp Straka in match three. The big-hitting Austrian has lived in America since the age of 14 but will be representing Team Europe alongside Ireland’s Shane Lowry this morning.

They take on Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa. Fowler is back at the Ryder Cup after a resurgent year on the PGA Tour saw him win for the first time since 2019. He tees it up alongside Morikawa who enjoyed a very successful first appearance at the Ryder Cup back in 2021 at Whistling Straights.

 (PA Wire)

Europe’s secret weapon? Heavy-hitting Nicolai Hojgaard on his Ryder Cup debut and emulating Rory McIlroy

06:15 , Jack Rathborn

Nicolai Hojgaard was beating himself up after falling short in the Swiss Alps at the Omega Masters. A blaze of birdies from Swedish phenom Ludvig Aberg not only clinched a maiden DP World Tour title but locked up one of what many assumed to be two remaining wild-card picks for the Ryder Cup. Hojgaard, who finished in a tie for fifth, was facing an anxious wait, hoping he had done enough to convince Europe’s captain Luke Donald of his worth over Poland’s Adrian Meronk.

“I was quite negative, to be honest,” Hojgaard tells The Independent. “But then the phone call came from Luke an hour and a half after the final round.

“I was so nervous, my heart was pumping. It turned out the way I was hoping for and it was the best phone call I’ve ever had. I’m now so excited.”

Europe’s secret weapon? Heavy-hitting Hojgaard relishing Ryder Cup debut

6.50am BST: Homa/Harmon v Hovland/Aberg

06:13 , Ben Fleming

Perhaps a surprise as three Ryder Cup rookies feature in match two. Max Homa impressed at the Presidents Cup earlier in the year and will play alongside Brian Harmon who punched his ticket to Rome after winning the Open Championship back in July in clinical fashion.

Viktor Hovland has come on leaps and bounds since his Ryder Cup debut two years ago but he now has the responsibility of guiding the young Ludvig Aberg in this foursomes match. The superstar Swede only turned pro in June and yet is here at the Ryder Cup having secured a captain’s pick after winning in just his ninth start a few weeks back.

Aberg celebrates with the European Masters trophy (Getty Images)

6:35 Foursomes match 1: Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns vs Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton

06:09 , Ben Fleming

The first match off should be a cracker featuring two of the world’s top three – Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm – paired alongside Sam Burns and Tyrell Hatton respectively.

Burns – a Ryder Cup rookie – is good friends with Scheffler and the two played together at the Presidents Cup.

Hatton and Rahm, meanwhile, is a new pairing but the feisty European duo will look to get the boys in blue off to the ideal start.

 (Getty Images)

Ryder Cup 2023: Who will be the best rookie this week?

06:05 , Ben Fleming

LO: Ludvig Aberg – the young Swede hasn’t been fazed by anything yet during his nascent professional career. There is no bigger test of that mentality than the Ryder Cup, but he has the tools to made an immediate impact and be a huge figure for Europe in the future.

JR: Ludvig Aberg makes a compelling case, although I’ll opt for Max Homa, who has a bit more experience in the game to cope with those nerves on debut. A perfect 4-0 record in last year’s Presidents Cup. Although he’ll be searching for a new partner, with Tony Finau and Billy Horschel not on the USA team. A par three demon, sixth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained putting (0.612) and best on the PGA tour in the bounce-back category (33.16 percent), it feels like Homa could thrive in some of the big moments.

LB: By the time we reach the 2025 Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black, I believe Ludvig Aberg will be in a similar tier to Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm. He’ll be a staple of Team Europe for the next decade-plus and his journey into Ryder Cup folklore begins in his rookie edition. It’s borderline ludicrous to think he’s only been a pro for four months, given how comfortable he looks on the big stage already. He is long and arrow-straight off the tee, which is the perfect profile for Marco Simone, a gorgeous iron player and a demon on the greens. Chipping is his one relative weakness but as Viktor Hovland has shown, that can be mitigated. I think he shines in the Friday fourballs and becomes undroppable from there.

BF: He may have moved to the US at age 14 but Sepp Straka is a birdie machine who could catch fire for Donald’s side. Blessed with a big-hitting game, the Austrian made the most birdies at the Open Championship in July having flirted with a 59 en route to winning the John Deere Classic earlier that month. He’ll likely be best utilised in fourballs and has a tailor-made game for matchplay golf.

Good Morning!

06:04 , Ben Fleming

And so, the day has finally arrived…it’s Ryder Cup time. What a pulsating, dramatic three days we hopefully have in store in Rome.

We’ve got you covered with wall-to-wall coverage including on-the-ground insight from The Independent’s Jack Rathborn and Lawrence Ostlere.

Let’s get into some build-up – just half an hour to go until the first match gets under way:

Ryder Cup 2023: Who will be the MVP?

06:00 , Jack Rathborn

Lawrence Ostlere: Viktor Hovland – Hovland is yet to win a match at the Ryder cup but he has never been in better form and he can have a massive impact, both in steering the young Scandinavian rookies on Team Europe and delivering himself.

Jack Rathborn: Viktor Hovland. The gruelling landscape of Marco Simone might prove testing for anybody to play five sessions, but Luke Donald will be brave to resist pushing out the Norwegian each time. Stunning form and now with a short game that stands up with the best, perfectly complimenting his mesmeric ball-striking from tee to green. Hovland’s laid-back demeanour should make him a dream partner and the 26-year-old may tie this group together and serve as a vital bridge between the Scandinavian contingent and the rest.

Luke Baker: Tommy Fleetwood. An impeccable ball-striker with pedigree in this event (who can forget the Moliwood partnership four years ago), Fleetwood seems to thrive in team golf. He’s in the best form of his career and a considerably better player now than when he tore it up in Paris. Rumours of a potential partnership with Rory McIlroy at some point in the week are mouth-watering and could help him boost his points tally. In order to win, Europe will need their ‘second tier’ of players to shine and Fleetwood can lead that charge.

Ben Fleming: Patrick Cantlay. Success at Marco Simone will likely be dictated by length and accuracy off the tee. In that regard, few players fit the mould better than the American who is third in strokes gained off the tee on the PGA Tour (0.852). Cantlay went unbeaten (3-0-1) in his rookie Ryder Cup two years ago and will look to pick up where he left off alongside his close friend and matchplay partner, Xander Schauffele.

Ryder Cup 2023 start times and Friday schedule

05:45 , Jack Rathborn

Friday 29 September

Morning schedule

6:35 Foursomes match 1: Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns vs Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton

6:50 Foursomes match 2: Max Homa and Brian Harman vs Viktor Hovland Ludvig Aberg

7:05 Foursomes match 3: Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa vs Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka

7:20 Foursomes match 4: Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay vs Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood

Afternoon schedule

11:25 Fourball match 1

11:40 Fourball match 2

11:55 Fourball match 3

12:10 Fourball match 4

Brooks Koepka sends blunt message to LIV golfers missing Ryder Cup: ‘Play better’

05:30 , Jack Rathborn

Brooks Koepka has told his fellow LIV golfers they should have played better if they wanted a Ryder Cup berth.

The five-time major winner was the only member of the Saudi breakaway venture to make Zach Johnson’s team despite the United States captain admitting he paid little attention to what was happening on that circuit.

But he could not ignore Koepka after he finished second at the Masters and then won the US PGA in May.

Brooks Koepka sends blunt message to LIV golfers missing Ryder Cup: ‘Play better’

The English coach inspiring Scottie Scheffler and Team USA to Ryder Cup success

05:15 , Jack Rathborn

Scottie Scheffler had a watching brief almost two years ago at a feverish Whistling Straits as the United States begun its beligerent march towards reclaiming the Ryder Cup.

Snubbed by Steve Stricker on that Friday morning before eventually returning an impressive 2.5 points across three matches on debut, the 27-year-old now finds himself on top of the world and in an entirely different and bizarre position. Despite standing tall in the world rankings above European superstars Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland, the demeanour of Scheffler has drastically changed since slipping on the green jacket in April last year. By his exceptional standards, one major is a modest return and the cruel nature of golf and its ever-evolving puzzle surrounding each player’s game has seen Scheffler struggle on the greens this year.

A peculiar strokes gained picture developed throughout 2023 as Scheffler routinely separated himself from fellow elite players with his ball-striking: registering 2.615 strokes gained tee-to-green, 0.677 more than McIlroy and 1.051 more than Patrick Cantlay in third. His impressive play even drew comparisons to Tiger Woods’ prime, with that particular statistic the second best since tracking began 20 years ago, behind Wood’s 2006 season (2.98), according to Twenty First Group’s Justin Ray.

The English coach inspiring Scottie Scheffler to Ryder Cup success

PGA Tour have received interest from investors other than LIV Golf

05:00 , Jack Rathborn

PGA Tour said its planned merger with Saudi-backed LIV Golf and DP World Tour has garnered unsolicited interest from investors as it continues to finalise an agreement with the Public Investment Fund and the DP World Tour.

The PGA said that while it did not solicit additional investment interest, it has a responsibility to members, sponsors and fans to thoroughly evaluate all potential options.

“Our focus continues to be on finalising an agreement with the Public Investment Fund and the DP World Tour, however, our negotiations have resulted in unsolicited interest from other investors,” PGA said in a statement on Wednesday.

PGA Tour have received interest from investors other than LIV Golf

Ryder Cup 2023: What is the thunderclap?

04:30 , Jack Rathborn

The thunderclap rose to prominence in the world of sport at the European Football Championships in 2016. It was there that the Icelandic football team and their fans began to use the chant as a form of chant during and after the game.

It consists of a loud chant and clap in unison which is repeated initially several seconds later and gradually speeding up over time. Iceland went on a historic run in that tournament, reaching the quarter-finals after famously knocking out England with a 2-1 win in the round of 16.

Since then, the thunderclap has been adopted by several groups of fans and sports, including golf. At the 2018 Ryder Cup in France, the European fans began to use the chant as a way of generating atmosphere on the first tee.

By the end of the tournament, the chant was often orchestrated by the players themselves or members of the European team who stood by the tee box.

As the Ryder Cup returns to European soil in Rome, the chant is likely to reappear as European fans look to inspire their side to victory. Europe go into the event as slight underdogs after their comprehensive defeat two years ago but have a new, revitalised team that will look to upset an American team full of world-class talent.

Team Europe split on ‘revenge’ mission but united in quest for Ryder Cup glory

04:15 , Jack Rathborn

English duo Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick have spoken of revenge – compatriot Tommy Fleetwood preferred the word “motivated” and Rory McIlroy went with “determined” – but Europe’s team are united in their quest to regain the Ryder Cup.

The record 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits was a humbling experience as they lost their grip on the trophy and that quartet are among seven of the current team who experienced it.

They all have their own way of describing what is driving them this week at Marco Simone in Rome but it all points in the same direction.

“Ultimately deep down you want to get some revenge. We have a fantastic team and we will be trying our best to make that happen,” Hatton told

Team Europe split on ‘revenge’ mission but united in quest for Ryder Cup glory

Ryder Cup 2023: Rome poised to host golfing theatre

04:00 , Jack Rathborn

A spectacular fly past by the Italian air force’s Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team drowned out the start of U.S. captain Zach Johnson’s speech at the opening ceremony of the 44th Ryder Cup on Thursday. It could be a portent of things to come.

Johnson’s 12-man team will be defending the trophy the U.S won back with a crushing victory at Whistling Straits in 2021 but will have to block out raucous home support at the Marco Simone Country Club, east of Rome.

Around 150,000 fans will descend on the spectacular course over the next three days — the majority of them roaring on Europe in what their captain Luke Donald hopes will be “the loudest Ryder Cup” ever. Fans of both teams were in good voice on a warm and sultry Thursday evening as the final preparations were completed for Italy’s first staging of the biennial team event. The par-71 course, completely re-modelled after Italy was chosen as host, looked magnificent in the late summer sunshine while queues snaked towards giant merchandise stores, with fans emerging laden with expensive souvenirs.

At the ceremony in the fan zone, cheers erupted as Europe’s players were introduced by former world number one and four-time Ryder Cup player Donald — the loudest reserved for England’s Tommy Fleetwood and talisman Rory McIlroy. The lure of the Eternal City and the magic of the Ryder Cup means there will be plenty of stars and stripes mixed in with the yellow and blue of Europe over the next three days, with hundreds having made the trip across the pond. Johnson’s team will be seeking to end a 30-year wait for an American win on European soil and with seven major champions in their dozen, they should have a decent shot.

One of them, Brooks Koepka, who claimed his fifth major by winning this year’s PGA Championship, can expect plenty of heat coming his way though, judging by the boos that rang out as he was introduced to the crowds. Koepka is the only player on either side to have joined LIV Golf — the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway tour that rocked the sport to its core over the past 18 months.

“I did not hear anything. I know Brooks well enough to know that he’s very secure in himself, and I know that his 11 team mates are very secure in him,” Johnson said later.

After the formalities — including the introduction players’ wives, a rendition of the Italian anthem by opera singer Carly Paoli and a rather under-whelming appearance by pop star Tom Grennan — the stage is set for the serious business.

“You are the heartbeat of this event, you are our 13th man, let’s make this the loudest Ryder Cup ever,” Donald, who began his speech in Italian, said as he signed off.

Action begins at 0535GMT on Friday with the foursomes rather than the fourballs — the first time Europe have opted for that order since 1997 with Donald believing it gives his team the best opportunity to get their noses in front. The opening gave features Spain’s Jon Rahm and England’s Tyrrell Hatton against world number one Scottie Scheffler and rookie Sam Burns, followed by Scandinavian duo Viktor Hovland and newcomer Ludvig Aberg versus Open winner Brian Harman and world number seven Max Homa, both also rookies. And if the decibel level needs any raising on opening morning, the pairing of McIlroy and Fleetwood against Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay in match four should ensure the action is heard all the way over in St Peter’s Square.

Ryder Cup: Luke Donald calls on Europe’s players to write their own history

03:45 , Jack Rathborn

Europe captain Luke Donald urged his “fearless” players to write their own Ryder Cup history after showing faith in two of his rookies for the opening session in Rome.

While the pairings of Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton and Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood came as no surprise, Donald also handed Ludvig Aberg and Sepp Straka an early taste of the action at Marco Simone.

The fiery pairing of Rahm and Hatton will face world number one Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns in the first foursomes match, with Aberg and Viktor Hovland up against Max Homa and Open champion Brian Harman.

Ryder Cup: Luke Donald calls on Europe’s players to write their own history

Ryder Cup 2023 predictions: Winner, best rookie and ultimate Sunday singles matches

03:30 , Jack Rathborn

The Ryder Cup begins tomorrow with Europe aiming to hit back and reclaim the cup from the United States at Marco Simone.

Team USA, led by Zach Johnson, have the better world rankings average among their 12 players, but Europe will lean on home advantage in Italy – with both crucial pieces to the puzzle and the eventual outcome.

Luke Donald will look to any small advantages to reach the magic number of 14.5 to triumph in one of the most gripping spectacles in sport.

Today’s opening ceremony will be the final opportunity for the players to soak in the atmosphere before the first ball is struck early on Friday morning.

Ryder Cup 2023 predictions: Winner, best rookie and more

‘It’s like a house of cards’: Ryder Cup-winning captain Thomas Bjorn reveals the blueprint for success

03:15 , Jack Rathborn

It was Friday at Le Golf National in 2018, in the fourth match of the morning foursomes, when some blue finally made it onto the board. The cult of “Moliwood” – Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood’s formidable partnership – had only just begun and would eventually yield a staggering, flawless 4-0 record. Yet Europe, after one session, were 3-1 down to the Americans.

Captain Thomas Bjorn’s icy demeanor endured, however, unflustered despite the deficit and committed to 20 months of meticulous Ryder Cup preparation.

The stage is set in Rome to once again show why the Ryder Cup is one of the most emotional sporting spectacles, conducive to irrationally tearing up the script. Yet Bjorn built immense trust among his European players, and their support teams, creating a genuine fortress in Paris and the foundation for a 4-0 sweep on Friday afternoon in what would eventually become a staggering 17.5-10.5 victory.

Ryder Cup-winning captain Thomas Bjorn reveals blueprint for success

Ryder Cup 2023

03:00 , Jack Rathborn

The talking is over as the Ryder Cup 2023 begins this morning ahead of three gripping days of golf between Europe and the USA in Rome.

Zach Johnson and Luke Donald have made their selections for the Friday morning foursomes, with Friday afternoon’s fourballs to follow.

Follow the Independent Sport’s live coverage, including latest scores, analysis and reaction from Marco Simone.

Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton bring ‘fire’ to Europe’s Ryder Cup bid

Thursday 28 September 2023 18:09 , Jack Rathborn

The raucous first tee at the Ryder Cup provides the perfect opportunity to launch Team Angry and spark Europe into life in Rome. Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, paired together by Luke Donald due to their “fire and passion,” bring an intimidating challenge for world No 1 Scottie Scheffler, after recent struggles with the putter, and Sam Burns in a mouthwatering first match of the week.

A scorching Marco Simone has made for a peaceful build-up as both teams meandered down the steep slopes this week, tossing a second or third ball down in the hope of ironing out those last-remaining kinks to a game poised for the most intense examination in the sport.

Rather than play it safe, Donald has opted to roll the dice; a new pairing capable of imploding under the menacing test of Marco Simone, yet also perfectly able to launch a seismic wave Europe could ride through to Sunday to recapture the cup.

How Team Angry can spark Europe’s Ryder Cup bid

Viktor Hovland’s hole-in-three ignites European passion on eve of Ryder Cup

Thursday 28 September 2023 18:09 , Jack Rathborn

As Justin Rose steadied himself on the sixth tee, the hush around him was broken by a kind of low, guttural noise from fans across the water. Heads swiveled towards the fifth green just in time to see a solitary white ball roll up to the cup and drop into the hole, without a golfer in sight.

The noise became a roar. Standing next to Rose were Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and their captain, Luke Donald.

“A hole in one!” said McIlroy. And on a par four, too. “Who was it?”

Donald pressed his finger against his earpiece, listening for news.

“Viktor,” he said, and McIlroy broke into a broad grin. They will tell you everybody loves everybody in Team Europe – but everybody loves Viktor Hovland.

Viktor Hovland’s hole-in-three ignites European passion on eve of Ryder Cup