Ryder Cup Diary: Teams braced for long, demanding and draining week

'The tournament will not be won or lost on Friday morning but a good start is always a desire for both captains'

By Peter Cowen/ KT Exclusive

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Peter Cowen. - Supplied photo
Peter Cowen. - Supplied photo

Published: Thu 28 Sep 2023, 9:30 PM

Last updated: Thu 28 Sep 2023, 9:32 PM

Well, here we are. It has been a long wait since Team Europe and Team USA announced their 2023 Ryder Cup Captains and then Team Europe had to replace Henrik Stenson.

Everyone must also be aware that the Ryder Cup week is hugely long, demanding and draining. If you are not careful you can run out of steam before a ball has been struck in anger.

The teams arrived in Rome on site on Monday, they have practised on and off the golf course, attended numerous media engagements as well as functions, team and other dinners and sponsor responsibilities.

I am sure the players, captains, fans and certainly myself are ready for the golf to get started with the first tee shot at 7.35 am on Friday morning.

Captain Luke Donald and Captain Zach Johnson have revealed their pairings for the morning foursomes at the Opening Ceremony.

Captain Donald has been brave to keep the format of morning foursomes and afternoon fourballs for the first two days.

The foursomes played with one ball only in alternate shot format is typically played by amateurs and is unusual in the professional game. It is generally not the easiest or favourite format for the modern professional.

Now a look at the pairings – there are no real surprises for me.

I suppose Captain Luke has to give Ludvig Aberg a free hit in the foursomes. He could be Europe’s wildcard for the week. He hits the ball so far which is one of his many talents, which suits this Marco Simone layout. To think he has not even played in a major is still a statistic I cannot quite get my head around.

The Ryder Cup will not be won or lost on Friday morning but a good start is always a desire for both teams, although looking back at last week’s Solheim Cup in Spain shows that even with a whitewash 4-0 foursomes first session win, the USA did not take the trophy back home.

The afternoon fourballs will be announced mid-morning, so flexibility as well as advice, feedback and on-course reports from especially all the Vice-Captains will be essential for both teams.


Finally, let’s look at the average Official World Golf Ranking from both teams, Team Europe is 29.1 with a low ranking of 82, and Team USA’s average OWGR is 12.9 with a low ranking of 25.

My prediction is still for a narrow Team Europe. I have not changed my mind - yet

Enjoy the watch!

Day One Foursomes Pairing

Team Europe Names First

7.35 am: Jon Rahm & Tyrrell Hatton v Scottie Scheffler & Sam Burns

7.50 am: Viktor Hovland & Ludvig Aberg v Max Homa & Brian Harman

8.05 am: Shane Lowry & Sepp Straka v Rickie Fowler & Collin Morikawa

8.20 am: Rory McIlroy & Tommy Fleetwood v Xander Schauffler & Patrick Cantlay

Peter Cowen

Peter Cowen, aged 72, is regarded as one of the leading golf coaches in the world.

He runs the Peter Cowen Academies at Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and has his Headquarters in Rotherham, England.

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