The European Ryder Cup team has a packed week ahead of it.
Not only are all 12 of its players, captain Luke Donald and four of the five vice captains playing in the DP World Tour’s flagship tournament the BMW PGA Championship, but on the eve of the event at Wentworth, many of the team will tee it up alongside some famous faces in the celebrity pro-am.
Before that, though, the team has arrived at Marco Simone to carry out a reconnaissance mission in Rome ahead of the match, which begins on 29 September.
The visit comes just three days after nine of the US Ryder Cup team made a similar trip to the course, with only Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay not involved.
Donald is determined not to leave any stone unturned in Team Europe’s bid to wrestle back the trophy it lost to the US at Whistling Straits in 2021, and he will hope the flying visit, coupled with the involvement of all 12 players at Wentworth later in the week, will give them the edge on home soil.
Before the trip, Donald laid out the schedule, saying: “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.”
He has been true to his word, with the official Team Europe Ryder Cup X (formerly Twitter) account posting footage of the team arriving at the venue, a team warm-up and players out on the course, including drives from Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy.
Team Europe arrive at @marcosimonegolf 🇪🇺 pic.twitter.com/yiBvux4wvWSeptember 11, 2023
Warming up in Rome💪🇪🇺#TeamEurope pic.twitter.com/Q7CLbIzbIkSeptember 11, 2023
Rahm ripping one in Rome 🚀#TeamEurope pic.twitter.com/W6bwSKKIWASeptember 11, 2023
Backwards hat… Rory’s here 💪#TeamEurope pic.twitter.com/rbPOk8CJiYSeptember 11, 2023
Despite the meticulous preparations for the match, and the fact the US has not won in Europe for three decades, Donald recently insisted on the Chipping Forecast podcast that his team are underdogs. He told Iain Carter: “We have home advantage, that is one tick in our box, but we are coming off the worst defeat we have…