ROME (AFP) — The United States arrive in Rome this week as favorites to end a 30-year wait to win the Ryder Cup on European soil against a home team without several stalwarts following the LIV Golf fall-out.
US captain Zach Johnson has an array of riches at his disposal, including world number one Scottie Scheffler and five-time major champion Brooks Koepka, the only LIV player to make the trip to Italy.
Seven of the team also featured in 2021 when the Americans dismantled Europe with a
record-breaking 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits.
Johnson will have four rookies to blood into the matchplay showdown, but largely opted for experience with his captain’s picks, calling up Koepka, Jordan Spieth, the out-of-form Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler.
Europeans have to be members of the DP World Tour to be available for selection, so skipper Luke Donald will have to do without Ryder Cup stars Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.
Garcia, the event’s record points scorer, attempted to get his card back earlier this year so he could possibly play at the Ryder Cup, but said he was turned away by European Tour CEO Keith Pelley.
The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf announced a closer financial relationship earlier this year, partly healing a rift in the sport.