Mar 17th, 2022
Stenson and Johnson Named Ryder Cup Captains
The run in to the 2023 event begins
Photography: CC BY 2.0
Stenson takes over the reins from Padraig Parkinson, who saw his European team fall to a heavy 9-19 loss in 2021 at Whispering Straits. Stenson acted as vice-captain for Team Europe during that disappointing defeat. Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson were mentioned as possible candidates for the role, but Stenson is the chosen man.
The 2016 Open Championship champion is the first Swede to captain a Ryder Cup team and is tasked with defying the odds from online golf betting sites and making Europe competitive against a United States team that was street ahead in 2021. Stenson made his Ryder Cup debut in 2006 and famously holed the winning put that ensured Europe won its third consecutive Ryder Cup.
Stenson has played in five Ryder Cups, so he knows the nuances of team play. His performances at the 2018 Ryder Cup were most impressive. The now 45-year-old Swede went 3-0-0 in his matches and joined Francesco Molinari as the only player in the combined 24-man event to finish the event undefeated and untied.
Jim Richerson, the PGA of America President, unveiled Zach Johnson as the United States Ryder Cup Team Captain on 28 February. Like Stenson, Johnson has played in five Ryder Cups from 2006-16, winning once (in 2016) and serving as Vice Captain during the last two Ryder Cups.
Johnson has 12 PGA Tour wins under his belt, including two major championships. He won the 2007 Masters by two strokes from Retief Goosen, Rory Sabbatini, and Tiger Woods. His second major title came in the 2015 edition of The Open, where he finished fifteen-under par but needed a playoff to clinch the victory from Marc Leishman and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen.
A delighted Johnson said becoming the United States captain is a great honour.
“To accept this Captaincy, to lead this United States Ryder Cup Team abroad, after what we accomplished last year at Whistling Straits, is simply the greatest honour of my professional career.”
The Ryder Cup’s First Time in Italy
While Stenson is the Ryder Cup’s first Swedish captain, the 2023 Ryder Cup will also be another first: the first Ryder Cup held in Italy. The Marco Simone Golf and Country Club submitted the winning bid, holding off the Austrian Golf Club Fontana, the German Golf Club Bad Saarow, and the Spanish PGA Catalunya Resort.
Denmark, Portugal, and Turkey were interested in hosting the tournament but did not enter an official bid.
Located in Guidonia, Rome, the course features a nine-hole resort course and an 18-hole championship course. The 18-hole “Course Campionato” sprawls over 6,343 years. The 72-par course has a 72.4 rating and a 140 slope, making it slightly less challenging than the Whistling Straits course used for the 2021 Ryder Cup, which was also a par-72 but spread over 7,201 yards and had a course rating and slope rating of 75.6 and 146, respectively.
The course’s owners, Gianni Cigna and Laura Biagiotti, are pulling out all the stops to ensure Italy’s first foray into the Ryder Cup is one of the most memorable tournaments in recent history.
Play gets underway on 29 September 2023 and continues until 1 October. day one’s schedule sees four foursome and four fourball matches take place, with day two following the same format. Day three, on Sunday, is reserved for 12 singles matches.