Luke Donald will host a Ryder Cup reconnaissance mission for Europe’s team on Monday at Marco Simone ahead of this month’s clash with Team USA.
Donald recently confirmed his Captain’s picks for Rome, after naming Ludvig Aberg, Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka, Justin Rose, Shane Lowry and Nicolai Hojgaard in his 12-man team to face the United States in Rome at the end of September.
They will join Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland , Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick and Robert MacIntyre, who all qualified automatically for Donald’s side.
The 12 players are all due to tee it up at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Thursday but first will make a flying visit to Rome in the next 24 hours to check out Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, where Donald insists USA are favourites.
Asked if he was taking his side on a pre-Ryder Cup recce, Donald replied: “Yeah that is on the books. We have a practice trip the Monday of Wentworth. I’ll be flying Sunday evening to meet the rest of the guys there. We will play Monday and then head back to Wentworth Tuesday morning.”
The Americans haven’t won the Ryder Cup in Europe since 1993, but they come into this year’s clash on the back of a record-breaking 19-9 win at Whistling Straits in 2021.
Donald told Iain Carter on the Chipping Forecast podcast: “We have home advantage, that is one tick in our box, but we are coming off the worst defeat we have ever had with quite a few of those guys who have been in that team two years ago.
“The bookies aren’t usually too wrong in their suggestions. They are going to be betting favourites. We are going to be underdogs, we know that but I have full faith in my team.
“But there will be ways we have advantages over the US and I will paint that pretty clear to them because they will be on a mission to get that cup back.
“The gap has closed; 12 months ago it was definitely in the US favour but I am proud and happy with the players who have stood up to show some great form in the months leading up to this Ryder Cup.”