Golf’s greatest team event tees off on Friday as Team Europe and Team USA lock horns in the 2023 Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome.
The Americans will look to defend their crown having won the biennial event convincingly in 2021 but must overcome a rotten record on opposition soil if they are to do so.
We have rounded up all you need to know about the famous competition’s latest renewal.
How does the Ryder Cup work?
The Ryder Cup pits teams of 12 golfers from Europe and the USA against each other over three days of matchplay action.
Friday and Saturday see various pairs matches take place, with each victory worth one point to a team’s overall total.
Then on Sunday, 12 further singles contests help crown the winners in what is traditionally one of the most dramatic days on the sporting calendar.
As 28 matches are played in total across the event, 14.5 points is the magic number required for a team to lift the Ryder Cup.
But as reigning champions, Team USA would retain the trophy if the scores finish level.
Who will be playing at the 2023 Ryder Cup?
Both 12-man squads are made up of six players who qualified automatically through their season-long achievements, plus a further six captain’s picks.
In August, Team USA captain Zach Johnson confirmed that Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Collin Morikawa and Sam Burns would join automatic qualifiers Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Max Homa and Xander Schauffele in his side.
Meanwhile Team Europe skipper Luke Donald has selected Ludvig Aberg, Tommy Fleetwood, Nicolai Hojgaard, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Sepp Straka to play alongside Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Robert MacIntyre, Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick for the hosts.
What are Team Europe saying?
McIlroy has doubled down on his stance over the omissions of Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood from this year’s competition.
The trio have been mainstays of Team Europe for over a decade but will play no part this week due to their defection to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour last year.
Speaking on their absence this week, McIlroy said: “It’s certainly a little strange not having them around.
“But I think this week of all weeks, it’s going to hit home with them that they are not here, and I think they are going to miss being here more than we’re missing them.”
What are Team USA saying?
Thomas is somewhat fortunate to be lining up this week having suffered a torrid season.
Missing the cut in three of the four Majors and spectacularly losing out on the FedEx Cup play-offs, only the faith of Team USA skipper Johnson has seen him keep his place.
Thomas said: “The only thing that mattered to me was that Zach [Johnson] and the vice captains and, at that time, the other six guys on the team wanted me on the team.
“That’s been my thought the whole time and I’m very glad that they have faith in me.”
Who are favourites for the 2023 Ryder Cup?
The 2023 Ryder Cup is considered too close to call by most bookmakers.
Though the away side have more top-level experience in their ranks, Europe have won nine of the last 13 editions and are particularly strong on their own turf.
In fact, the last time USA lifted the trophy away from home was way back in 1993