Ryder Cup: What has changed for Team Europe and Team USA since last meeting in 2021 | Golf News

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You can see Europe take on the United States in the Ryder Cup from September 29, exclusively live on Sky Sports

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You can see Europe take on the United States in the Ryder Cup from September 29, exclusively live on Sky Sports

You can see Europe take on the United States in the Ryder Cup from September 29, exclusively live on Sky Sports

Whistling Straits. September 2021. A crushing 19-9 victory for Team USA to win the pandemic-delayed 43rd Ryder Cup, with the youngest team in its history.

For Team Europe, its biggest defeat since the expansion to include players from outside Great Britain and Ireland in 1979, and back to the drawing board to prepare for the next meeting at Rome’s Marco Simoni Golf and Country Club.

Two years is a long time in Ryder Cup terms, but even with that in mind no one could have foreseen just how much the landscape for both the American and European teams would change in those intervening 24 months.

The LIV effect

Part of the lure of the Ryder Cup is the rivalry. The ill-tempered 1969 matches, the ‘War On The Shore’, and the ‘Battle Of Brookline’ are some of the more infamous moments in the tournament’s history which have stoked that.

Generally, that has stayed between opposing teams and individuals. But the arrival of LIV Golf on the scene last year and the defection of several top players from the traditional North American and European tours to the upstart series opened up fault-lines between potential team-mates.

As Team Europe prepare to take on Team USA in the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, take a look at the best shots from his six appearances in the competition

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As Team Europe prepare to take on Team USA in the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, take a look at the best shots from his six appearances in the competition

As Team Europe prepare to take on Team USA in the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, take a look at the best shots from his six appearances in the competition

Even with LIV’s financial backers, the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, settling their differences to agree a partnership earlier this year, the divisions are still notable in the make-up of both teams for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka is the only LIV player in Zach Johnson’s American team and even then, was a captain’s pick. Fellow 2021 squad members Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau are not included, while Phil Mickelson, holder of a record 12 Ryder Cup appearances and vice-captain last time, is not involved in Rome either.

Luke Donald says it is 'a shame' some players are unavailable for Ryder Cup selection after resigning their DP World Tour membership following their move to LIV Golf

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Luke Donald says it is ‘a shame’ some players are unavailable for Ryder Cup selection after resigning their DP World Tour membership following their move to LIV Golf

Luke Donald says it is ‘a shame’ some players are unavailable for Ryder Cup selection after resigning their DP World Tour membership following their move to LIV Golf

“I’m a pick this year – a little different,” Koepka said. “[I] Would have liked to make it on my own, but it was close. [I’m] Just happy to be on the team.”

For Europe, the split saw experienced competitors Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Paul Casey, plus potential pick Thomas Pieters become ineligible for selection.

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September 28, 2023, 12:30pm

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It cost them their original choice of captain too after Henrik Stenson opted to defect to the rebel tour, with Luke Donald now charged with leading the hosts as they aim to regain the trophy.

“Henrik has made his decisions and he has got his reasons for it,” Donald said after being named as Stenson’s replacement. “I’m not here to judge that, but I’m certainly excited about the opportunity.”

Europe’s players surge to the fore

Team Europe captain Luke Donald explains his Ryder Cup selections and how he plans to win back the famous trophy

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Team Europe captain Luke Donald explains his Ryder Cup selections and how he plans to win back the famous trophy

Team Europe captain Luke Donald explains his Ryder Cup selections and how he plans to win back the famous trophy

In reigning Masters champion Jon Rahm, four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, and FedEx Cup winner Viktor Hovland, Team Europe captain Donald has three of the top four on the Official World Golf Ranking at his disposal.

Last year’s surprise US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick is currently eighth in the world, as well.

Both are signs of the European golfing talent which has burst onto the scene since the last Ryder Cup, with 22-year-old Dane Nicolai Hojgaard and 23-year-old Swede Ludvig Åberg, who only turned professional in June, joining Norway’s Hovland as part of the next generation of emerging Scandinavian stars.

Added into the mix is Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, with Donald optimistic the rookies can shine like they did when he made his Ryder Cup debut in Europe’s victory at Oakland Hills in 2004.

The Sky Sports golf team explain exactly why this European side at the Ryder Cup have been selected and break down their chances of success at the tournament

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The Sky Sports golf team explain exactly why this European side at the Ryder Cup have been selected and break down their chances of success at the tournament

The Sky Sports golf team explain exactly why this European side at the Ryder Cup have been selected and break down their chances of success at the tournament

“I think it’s a really nice blend of experience and rookies,” Donald told Sky Sports News about his squad. “We have experience and some superstars, but it’s great to see those 12 all together now.

“We had five rookies on the team [in 2004] and it ended up fine. I’m really excited with the build-up of this team.”

Changes for Team USA

Donald’s opposite number Johnson boasts the No 1-ranked player in the world in Scottie Scheffler, who has risen up the ranks from being ranked 21st when he made his Ryder Cup debut as a captain’s pick at Whistling Straits two years ago.

In that time, Scheffler has won the Masters and claimed five other PGA Tour titles, and forms part of a team which contains two other players who have added major glory to their CVs in that time in Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman – both of whom are placed in the OWGR top 10.

US Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson reveals his six wildcard picks for this year's competition

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US Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson reveals his six wildcard picks for this year’s competition

US Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson reveals his six wildcard picks for this year’s competition

Clark and Harman are among four rookies in the team, along with this year’s WGC-Dell Technologies Matchplay champion Sam Burns – one of Johnson’s six captain’s picks – and Max Homa. Meanwhile, Rickie Fowler has been recalled as a captain’s pick after not being part of the 2021 team.

This time, however, Thomas, who has an 80 per cent win record in Ryder Cup matches, and two-time major winner Collin Morikawa had to rely on being captain’s picks after being automatic selections two years ago after slipping down the world rankings.

Live Ryder Cup Golf

September 28, 2023, 7:00pm

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Handing one of his picks to Thomas was an eyebrow-raising move though, given the 30-year-old’s struggles this year, but Johnson is confident in his side’s ability to keep hold of the Ryder Cup.

“I’m really excited about having my 12 guys complete,” Johnson said. “Really excited that these are the guys that all of us, corporately, feel like we can go on a mission with only one goal.

“But we’re going to do it together. We’re going to do it with character, we’re going to do it with high class, we’re going to do it with the integrity that the Ryder Cup deserves.”

Live coverage from the opening day of the Ryder Cup begins on Friday September 29 from 6am on Sky Sports Golf, while live programming begins on Monday September 25. Stream the PGA Tour, DP Tour, Ryder Cup and more with NOW.

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