Johnson organised the trip ahead of the Ryder Cup in a bid to better prepare his side for the challenges of the Italian course, as America go in search of their first win on European soil in 30 years.
Having flown out on Friday, the team played an initial 18 holes, with the intention to play another round before their departure, with Johnson revealing that the course had got positive reviews from his players.
“The common sentiments that I heard on the golf course was they really liked it, which is awesome,” Johnson told reporters. “I knew they would because Marco Simone is very, very good. The rough was very thick. That was the other nugget that we talked about a lot.
“The putting greens were very good, very true, very nice. The fairways were awesome. It’s a great test and it’s a really, really good match-play golf course. So the guys are excited about the competition.”
While most of the American team was able to make the trip to Rome, Johnson did confirm that three players – Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay – were unable to make the trip, confirming an earlier report from The Telegraph.
“Jordan, Xander, and Patrick have family matters that definitely supersede what we’re doing,” Johnson said. Spieth’s wife, Annie, is due to give birth while Schauffele and Cantlay are said to have had family commitments.
Johnson also revealed that Tiger Woods would play an advisory role in the US team’s effort, albeit the eight-time Ryder Cupper will be unable to travel over to Italy as he continues his recovery from ankle surgery in April.
“Tiger is very much a part of Team USA and has been for years,” Johnson added. “He is, for lack of a better term, on call with us. He is very much in the know as to what we’re trying to do. We’re going to utilize his wisdom. He wishes he could be here, but it’s just not in the cards for him physically. And that’s fine. He is with us, just not here physically.”
The Ryder Cup gets under way on Friday 29th…