Oct 2nd, 2023
Rampant Europe Regain Ryder Cup in Rome
Luke Donald's Ryder Cup team victorious in dramatic final day
Photography: Getty Images
A rampant team Europe regained the Ryder Cup in a thrilling final-day showdown against the USA amidst a carnival atmosphere at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome.
Tommy Fleetwood was the man to secure the vital point on a dramatic afternoon at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club where, despite Europe entering the singles with a commanding lead and never trailing, the U.S. threatened to complete a remarkable comeback.
The home side led 10½-5½ on Sunday morning, meaning the U.S. Team needed the biggest Ryder Cup comeback in history to win despite a rousing 3-1 session victory in Saturday afternoon's four-balls.
Early European success got the home side to 14-7 but Matt Fitzpatrick missed an 18-footer on the last for the trophy as the Americans cut the gap to 14-11 following a strategic decision from Max Homa to take an unplayable that helped him halve the hole.
From there, an air of unease swept the course for the European fans as the us had plenty of red on the scoreboard in the later singles matches, meaning Europe had to gain a momentum shift from somewhere to tip the balance in their favour.
Speaking to the BBC, Luke Donald said, "It looked good early but then looked like it could be a bad day."
Reflecting on the tournament, U.S. Captain Zach Johnson said "If I have any reflection right now it's that you take your hat off and tip your cap to Team Europe and to Luke - they played great, they earned it and I was very impressed with them."
"We got outplayed but we showed grit, we showed heart and it got interesting there.
Luke Donald's mantra all week was about getting off to a "fast start", so he put his faith in Europe's big names, and they repaid his belief and proved their worth throughout the whole tournament, with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, and Tommy Fleetwood picking up major points through the foursomes, fourballs, and singles matches.
Europe's Points Breakdown
- Rory McIlroy (4-1-0, 4 points)
- Tyrrell Hatton (3-0-1, 3.5 points)
- Viktor Hovland (3-1-1, 3.5 points)
- Tommy Fleetwood (3-1-0, 3 points)
- Jon Rahm (2-0-2, 3 points)
- Robert MacIntyre (2-0-1, 2.5 points)
- Ludvig Aberg (2-2-0, 2 points)
- Justin Rose (1-1-1, 1.5 points)
- Shane Lowry (1-1-1, 1.5 points)
- Matt Fitzpatrick (1-2-0, 1 point)
- Sepp Straka (1-2-0, 1 point)
- Nicolai Hoojgaard (0-2-1, 0.5 points)
Playing in every match over the 3 days, he picked up 3.5 points and only lost 1 match outright when paired with fellow Ryder Cup debutant Nicolai Højgaard. Hovland also managed to hit an ace in the practise round.
Once Fleetwood had sealed his point on the 17th against Rickie Fowler, scenes of utter jubilation were sparked across the course as fans flooded down the 18th to join the celebrations.
Some fans were a little more over-exuberant in their celebrations, with one fan going for a quick dip as soon as the trophy was regained by Europe.
Upon the completion of Robert MacIntyre's round, the scenes spilled over to the European camp where the pent up emotions of the past 3 days were finally released. Here are some of our top picks..
Viktor Hovland is Europe's Sweetheart
Viktor didn't let being the only single member of Team Europe to hold him back and managed to grab a photo with the WAGS of the rest of the team.
Europes on Fire
Jubilant scenes on the Team bus following the trophy lift...
Shane Lowry and Jon 'Rhambo' Rahm on the Rahmpage
The champagne was flowing in every sense of the word
Tyrrell Hatton - Last Man Standing
Tyrrell certainly embraced that winning feeling by having a late night and enjoying some local delicacies, when in Rome we suppose...