Luke Donald’s European team visited Marco Simone Golf Club on Monday ahead of the Ryder Cup later this month. All 12 members of his team – including Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm – will take part in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth from Thursday
Last updated: 12/09/23 12:10 PM
Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland and the rest of Team Europe enjoyed an excursion to Marco Simone Golf Club on Monday ahead of the Ryder Cup later this month.
Two days after nine of Zach Johnson’s American team headed to Rome to prepare for the biennial competition, Live from September 29 to October 1 on Sky SportsLuke Donald took all 12 members of his squad for a training session at this year’s Ryder Cup venue.
McIlroy – wearing a backwards Ryder Cup cap – made the trip after a disappointing final day at the Horizon Irish Open, finding the water four times en route to a 16th-place finish, with Shane Lowry making his first visit to the course after ending up with a third-place finish at the K Club .
Tyrrell Hatton arrives after missing the cut in Ireland last week, with Rahm, Hovland, Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick, the other survivors of Europe’s record loss in 2021, also enjoying the trip to Italy.
Ryder Cup rookies Nicolai Hoggard and Robert McIntyre will have to return to the place where they enjoyed DS Automobiles Italian Open victories in recent seasons, complete with the team visiting European veteran Justin Rose, Austrian Sepp Straka and rising star Ludwig Oberg.
Francesco Molinari – who won all five points in the European 2018 success – was among the vice-captains in attendance, as the squad sat for official photos and enjoyed taking to the field in this year’s scheme.
Here’s a closer look at how the team enjoyed their experience in Rome…
Donald: The team’s trip is an “important step”
Donald will be looking to lead Europe to a seventh successive home win over Team USA and avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in 30 years, with the Englishman delighted with the tournament and his team ahead of the 2023 edition.
“He. She [Marco Simone GC] “Sounds great,” Donald said. “The green crew did a great job. It wasn’t an easy summer with the hot weather they had, but the course is flawless. The rough is nice and thick and the course looks great. I really agree with the way they did it and how they presented it.
“There’s a lot of emotion and a lot of anticipation, energy and excitement. Players who haven’t played a Ryder Cup before have now seen what the week is going to be like, so there’s a lot of great energy there.”
“It was great to get all the players together. It was really important and this was the first time we had done a training trip, so to get the players in the same team room, get out on the golf course and see the course was great. An important step.”
DP World Golf Tour
September 14, 2023, 12:00 noon
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All 12 members of the team head to London for the BMW PGA Championship, and the Rolex Series will be the last time the majority of Donald’s team will prepare before the Ryder Cup.
Europe’s all-star Ryder Cup competes in the BMW PGA Championship, the premier event on the DP World Tour calendar, with expanded coverage live on Sky Sports Golf.
Lowry returns as defending champion after last year’s one-shot victory over Rahm and McIlroy, who holds a 2,350-point lead at the top of the DP World Tour overall standings, as he looks to win the Race to Dubai for the fifth time and the second year in a row.
Max Homa and Justin Thomas are the only two players on Team USA to appear in the PGA Tour’s season-opening Fortinet Championship, the start of the “FedExCup Fall,” with captain Johnson and vice-captain Stuart Cink on the field.
PGA Tour Golf Live
September 14, 2023, 11:00 pm
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MacIntyre is the only European player currently listed for next week’s Open de France, where there is no scheduled PGA Tour event, before the 44th Ryder Cup takes place in Rome later this month.
Watch the BMW PGA Championship all week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday with highlights from 8.30am before full coverage from midday on Sky Sports Golf.
Live coverage of the opening day of the Ryder Cup begins on Friday 29 September from 6am on Sky Sports Golf, while live programming begins on Monday 25 September. Stream the PGA Tour, DP Tour, Ryder Cup and more with NOW.