Preparations are beginning to hot up ahead of the Ryder Cup later this month, with the American Team heading to Rome for a scouting mission at Marco Simone ahead of the tournament.
Team USA flew out on Friday and will play the course prior to the start of the PGA Tour’s fall series, which begins at the Fortinet Championship on September 14th. In previous away Ryder Cups, Team USA has been unable to organise a full scouting mission for the team prior to the event.
In 2018, Justin Thomas was the only player to make the journey over and play Le Golf National in the French Open ahead of the Ryder Cup, which USA lost 17½-10½.
Steve Stricker organised a full team trip to Whistling Straights prior to the 2021 Ryder Cup – which America won emphatically by a score of 19-9 – and this year’s captain, Zach Johnson, has eyed up a similar trip for Marco Simone for many months.
Speaking back at the PGA Championship in May, Johnson said: “I made it a priority that I’m taking the 12 guys that make my team to Rome two weeks prior to the event so that way we get our feet on the grounds, they get their feet on the grounds, experience Marco Simone first hand.
“Then when we leave and come back home for two weeks, they’ll have at least, I think, a pretty realistic expectation as to what is required. I think that trip right there is going to be crucial. Certainly chemistry and camaraderie and all that good stuff inside the locker room. It’s a priority for those guys to get on Marco Simone.”
It is unclear, however, if the full team has been able to make this scouting trip, with The Telegraph reporting that Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth have all missed the journey due to personal commitments.
Schauffele and Cantlay were automatic qualifiers alongside Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman and Max Homa. Spieth was one of Johnson’s six captain’s picks. Rickie Fowler, Sam Burns, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas were the other five.
While Team USA made the journey this weekend, Europe’s new-look Ryder Cup team are due to head out to Rome following the conclusion of the Irish Open to play practice rounds together prior to…