Rory McIlroy will make his seventh Ryder Cup appearance at Marco Simone at the end of September as the Europeans look to regain the trophy they lost to the US at Whistling Straits two years ago, and he thinks the team is looking in good shape to achieve it.
The 34-year-old will compete in the Horizon Irish Open this week just three weeks before the biennial match gets underway, and he agrees with Padraig Harrington about the strength of the team. The three-time Major winner has said Europe has “the best players in the world” and likened the strength to teams from the 1970s and 1980s.
McIlroy was happy to go along with that opinion. He said: “Yeah, I would have to agree with that. You look at Viktor end of the season; with what Jon Rahm as has done this year; myself; Tommy Fleetwood back to playing some of the best golf he’s played in a while; Tyrrell; Shane; Rosey. I think you’ve got a nice blend of experience and youth in the team.”
As well as the impressive experience on the team, which includes a total of 20 cumulative appearances in the Ryder Cup, Donald has also turned to some rookies to help return the trophy to Europe.
Among them is Swedish star Ludvig Aberg. The 23-year-old only turned professional three months ago but has already made a big impression on both the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, including a win in last week’s Omega European Masters.
Despite becoming the only player ever to make a Ryder Cup team without having played a Major, McIlroy has no doubt Aberg has the ability to step up to the big occasion. He continued: “I think everyone who has followed golf over the last few months has known the potential that someone like Ludvig has had. You just have to watch him hit balls on the range at a PGA Tour event.
“I mean, he’s special, he really is. He’s an unbelievable ball-striker. I don’t think people maybe from this part of the world recognised it because he’s played all of his golf in college and in the States and then played a lot of PGA Tour stuff.
“But he came over here and finished fourth in Czech Republic and won in Switzerland. He proved to a lot of people that he’s worthy of a pick. I honestly think Luke was going to pick…