Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, Rome, Italy — October 1, 2023
For a while, the improbable seemed almost possible. Team USA entered the final day of the 2023 Ryder Cup from Rome, Italy, down five in the overall match score. In the first match of the day, Jon Rahm (EUR) and Scottie Scheffler (USA) battled back and forth through 17 holes. Scheffler took a 1-Up advantage to the par five, 18th. A win would create some very positive momentum for the Americans.
With the United States leading in the majority of the remaining matches, they just needed to flip a couple of close contests to get to the magic number of 14 match wins. Both Scheffler and Rahm had an opportunity to reach the green in two. Rahm succeded, and Scheffler came up just short in the heavy rough.
With his third stroke, Scheffler’s ball raced past the pin and down the slope at the rear of the green. Rahm lagged his putt next to the hole for a gimmie birdie. Scheffler, facing a must-make chip-in, could not convert. What should have been a full-point win turned into a half-point tie. The collective sigh took a lot of the wind out of the Team USA sails.
The Americans continued to battle. It looked like the Cup was lost on the 18th in Match five. Max Homa had to take an unplayable lie in heavy rough near the green. Somehow, Homa got the ball up and down to preserve his 1-Up lead and keep the Europeans from making it to 14 1/2 points with a tied match.
With five matches yet to finish, the Europeans led 14-9.
In Match eight, Justin Thomas had a chance to grab another point for the Americans, but he missed a birdie putt that extended the match to the 18th, with Thomas holding a 1-Up lead. Pars on the 18th gave the Americans another win.
Europe led 14-10
In Match nine, Xander Schauffele closed out Nicolai Hojgaard 3 and 2 for another point to Team USA.
Europe led 14-11
But, it was all too little too late. The Cup was lost on Day one when Team USA went five matches down to Team Europe.
Match 10 had Jordan Spieth (USA) leading by one after 15 holes. However, Shane Lowry won the 16th and 17th to go 1-Up with one to play. Essentially closing out Team USA as the best they could do would be to tie the match giving Team Europe the final half-point they needed for the victory.
In Match 11, Rickie Fowler was 1-Down playing the 16 and needing to win two holes to overcome the lead of Tommy Fleetwood. Fowler hit his drive into the water while Fleetwood landed his ball on the green assuring the outcome by going two up with two to play. Fleetwood became the official Cup-winning player when he birdied the 17th, taking the match 3 and 1.
Europe led 15-11
Match 12 ended early, with Wyndham Clark (EUR) taking down Robert MacIntyre 2 and 1. Jordan Spieth birdied 18 to tie Shane Lowry. Despite moments of hope Team USA ended the day where they started, 5-Down to their European counterparts.
The Final of the 2023 Ryder Cup was Europe 16 1/2 vs. United States 11 1/2
|1||Jon Rahm||Scottie Scheffler||Tied|
|2||Viktor Hovland||Collin Morikawa||EUR 4&3|
|3||Justin Rose||Patrick Cantlay||USA 2&1|
|4||Rory McIlroy||Sam Burns||EUR 3&1|
|5||Matt Fitzpatrick||Max Homa||USA 1 Up|
|6||Tyrrell Hatton||Brian Harman||EUR 3&2|
|7||Ludvig Aberg||Brooks Koepka||USA 3&2|
|8||Sepp Straka||Justin Thomas||USA 1 Up|
|9||Nicolai Hojgaard||Xander Schauffele||USA 3&2|
|10||Shane Lowry||Jordan Spieth||EUR 1 Up|
|11||Tommy Fleetwood||Rickie Fowler||Tied|
|12||Robert MacIntyre||Wyndham Clark||EUR 2&1|