The 44th Ryder Cup is set to take place at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Italy, and there are plenty of new faces on both the European and United States teams. Some familiar veterans like Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, and Lee Westwood won’t be competing after leaving the DP World Tour for the LIV Golf League. On the U.S. side, unexpected names like U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark and Open Championship winner Brian Harman will be making their Ryder Cup debuts.
The best players in the world will gather to compete over three days, with the U.S. team hoping to end their 30-year drought on foreign soil. The Europeans have been dominant in recent years, winning seven of the past eight Ryder Cups. The U.S. team’s lone exception was their loss at the 2012 “Miracle at Medinah,” where Europe rallied from a 10-6 deficit on the final day.
While players like Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Viktor Hovland will be crucial for their respective teams, there are some players flying under the radar who could make a big impact. Here’s a look at some of these golfers:
1. Viktor Hovland (Europe)
As a 24-year-old rookie in the last Ryder Cup, Hovland was thrown into the fire and collected two half-points. He has been in terrific form lately, winning back-to-back FedEx Cup playoffs events. Hovland is known for his excellent driving and iron play, and his short game has been improving as well.
2. Rory McIlroy (Europe)
Competing in his seventh Ryder Cup, McIlroy has been a key contributor in the past. However, he struggled in the most recent event and will be determined to bounce back. McIlroy’s driving ability could be a weapon on the Italian course.
3. Scottie Scheffler (USA)
Scheffler had an impressive rookie performance in the last Ryder Cup, going undefeated with two wins and a tie. He followed up that success with a win at the 2022 Masters. Scheffler’s ballstriking has been outstanding, but his putting has been holding him back.
4. Jon Rahm (Europe)
The reigning Masters champion has had a strong season, finishing in the top 10 in three of the four majors. Rahm has proven himself in previous Ryder Cups and has the potential to become a Spanish hero for the European team.
5. Patrick Cantlay (USA)
Cantlay had a solid season on the PGA Tour, finishing in the top 15 in three of the four majors. He has a perfect record in his Ryder Cup appearances, going undefeated in his rookie year. Cantlay’s methodical pace of play and built-in pairing with Xander Schauffele make him a valuable asset for the U.S. team.
6. Xander Schauffele (USA)
Schauffele had a consistent season, with 11 top-10 finishes and no missed cuts. He had a strong Ryder Cup debut in 2021, and he and Cantlay have been successful when playing together in team events.
These are just a few of the players to watch out for in the upcoming Ryder Cup. With a mix of experienced veterans and rising stars, both teams are well-equipped for the competition. It will be an exciting weekend of golf, and fans around the world will be eagerly watching to see who will come out on top.