Team Monty won the inaugural Ryder Cup All Star Match 7-4 following an afternoon of high-quality golf from all on show.
24-time tennis Grand Slam champion, Novak Djokovic struck the first tee shot and quickly secured the first point of the day.
Multiple G4D winner, Kipp Popert helped to secure further points for Team Monty against Ferrari F1 driver, Carlos Sainz Jr and disability golfer, Tommaso Perrino.
Dude Perfect YouTuber, Garrett Hilbert showed his quality alongside professional surfer and Roman native, Leonardo Fioravanti in an entertaining tie with Hollywood actress, Kathryn Newton and former NFL star, Victor Cruz.
In the battle of the former Ryder Cup captains, Montgomerie bested Corey Pavin 2-1 with the help of Gareth Bale against another former professional footballer, Andriy Shevchenko.
The contest was nip and tuck throughout until Montgomerie turned on the style late in the match to help his team pull away and secure victory.
2023 ALL-STAR MATCH: FINAL SCORE
Team Monty 7 Team Pavin 4
Novak Djokovic & Kipp Popert WIN 3-1 v Carlos Sainz & Tommaso Perrino
Garrett Hilbert & Leonardo Fioravanti TIE 2-2 v Kathryn Newton & Victor Cruz
Colin Montgomerie & Gareth Bale WIN 2-1 v Corey Pavin & Andriy Shevchenko
Ryder Cup All Star Match format
The 12 players were split into three pairs on each team.
The pairs then faced off over seven holes in a match-play format, with the winning group earning a point for every hole they won outright.
The team with the most points after everyone has completed all seven holes claimed the inaugural All Star Match title.
Watch the full contest here
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Ryder Cup All Star Match: How it unfolded…
Good morning from Rome! We've had Team Europe in the interview room this morning and we've got an exciting afternoon ahead as a number of huge stars take to Marco Simone.
First group tees off
Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin have been welcomed onto the first tee by a small but passionate crowd at Marco Simone.
They were followed by England's Kipp Popert - England's leading G4D player - and Novak Djokovic - one of the greatest tennis players ever for Team Monty.
Teeing it up for Team Pavin is Ferrari F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr and Popert's Italian rival, Tommaso Perrino.
On the first tee and ready to go, which is considerably further forward for the celebs than it will be on Friday, is Djokovic.
The Serbian sends his drive out into the fairway before it just runs out of room and nestles into the first cut on the right.
Popert nails his drive well past Djokovic but into the bunkers down the right-hand side.
Speaking of driving, the F1 star - Sainz - finds the left rough after showing a grimace following his strike which is all too familiar to those of us with a high handicap.
Perrino is last to go, and the Italian also fails to find the short stuff, with his ball nestling into the first cut on the left.
The first group is underway!
Second group on the course
Victor Cruz, Kathryn Newton, Garrett Hilbert & Leonardo Fioravanti have taken their turn to crunch a drive down the fairway. Hilbert and Newton are the only players to find the short stuff, so far.
First point on the board
Novak Djokovic, who was the only player to receive a shot on the first - due to his handicap on the SI5 hole - makes the most of it by nestling a mid-range putt up close to secure the first point for Team Monty!
How today's All Star match works...
How the #AllStarMatch works... #RyderCup pic.twitter.com/qGRkOPvl9ISeptember 27, 2023
In case you were wondering how it all works today, see this short explainer video above
High-quality golf continues
Hilbert almost holes out from the fairway by drilling a low iron up towards the green with his second shot. The ball cannoned along the green and was only slowed down by the arrival of the hole. It almost looked like he meant to do that...
On the second, Sainz leaves his tee shot on the par three about 10 feet away after it rolls back down towards the flag from the left side.
Third group is up and running
Colin Montgomerie, Gareth Bale, Andriy Shevchenko, and Corey Pavin are all away.
Bale is in deep trouble down the left side, but nothing I'm sure he can't wiggle his way out of. Monty's drive just about hangs onto the right side of the fairway, while rival captain Pavin sends his firing down the middle.
Meanwhile, the left-handed Shevchenko spoons his drive near the 17th tee box. I think he might be relying on his teammate and captain for this one...
Cruz from downtown!
The former NFL star has drained a magnificent putt on the first for a nett eagle! He was around 15 feet out, but he confidently sent the ball tumbling into the centre of the cup. Superb from the American!
It's 1-1 out there now.
Powers of recovery from Sainz
This reaction from Carlos Sainz 😂 pic.twitter.com/npjbwsCGkySeptember 27, 2023
Not a great tee shot from the Ferrari man...
Magnificent shot from Carlos Sainz 🔥 pic.twitter.com/r1iWPz970eSeptember 27, 2023
But what a recovery!
"I think they are going to miss being here more than we're missing them"
A photo posted by on
More fighting talk from Rory...
Rate Novak Djokovic's golf swing! pic.twitter.com/J9wiu2LsW7September 27, 2023
He's got one of the smoothest and yet most powerful swings in tennis, but one could argue it doesn't seem to have translated into his golf game. The take away is decent, at least to my untrained eye, but the stunted follow through isn't helping him. Transfer that weight, Novak.
Pavin squares the contest
Corey Pavin sticks his par three tee shot in close, and when both Bale and Monty miss their birdie efforts, the blue team's captain pours his 10-footer in the front door.
Monty's team secured another point - which was not shown on the YouTube coverage - but it's 2-2 now anyway thanks to Pavin's quality.
Wayward drives in the final group
Aside from Monty's sublime tee shot, which rolls into position A down the centre, the other three in the final group spray it to all parts. Schevchenko tops his drive about 100 yards, Bale booms it off the course to the right and has to reload - with his second effort looking very good - and Pavin also finds the thick vegetation.
Kathryn Newton and Garret Hilbert have got some serious ability. Newton scores a nett birdie to add a third point on to Team Pavin's total.
Up ahead, Djokovic tries to chunk a ball out of knee-high thick rough on the left but cannot even make contact. Someone comments he should just "throw it out," which I really would advise - otherwise, it could be the end of his tennis career...
Team Monty 2 Team Pavin 3
Djokovic goes digging...
Novak Djokovic, use the tennis racket 😂 pic.twitter.com/aaGIzoA41CSeptember 27, 2023
Time to watch this through your fingers. Thankfully, the tennis star emerged unscathed.
Monty rolls back the years
The 2010 Team Europe Ryder Cup captain sends an iron shot from the centre of the fairway to 10 feet, just past the flag. From there, Monty had two putts to win the hole, but he only needed one, rolling the ball gently into the right side of the cup.
Team Monty 3 Team Pavin 3
Team Monty turn it around
Despite an excellent chip out of the thick green-side rough from Tomasso Perrino that rolls to within a couple of feet, Popert has a knock-in putt to claim another point for Team Monty. With three holes to go for the leaders, the match has been turned on its head.
Team Monty 4 Team Pavin 3
Djokovic expected to provide motivational Ryder Cup talk
He's one of the greatest tennis players ever to pick up a racket, with 24 Grand Slams in his back pocket, and Novak Djokovic has apparently been asked to impart some nuggets of wisdom onto Team Europe before the Ryder Cup begins on Friday.
European captain Luke Donald wants the group of champions to learn from the Serbian about making the most of those fine margins in such a tight contest.
Djokovic three-putts on 16
Three of the four players in the first group had a putt to win it, but Sainz and Perrino were unable to cash in from range after Djokovic sent what would have been a net-one putt all the way down the hill before coming up short with his second. Not vintage, by any means, but it seems like the nerves are starting to kick in...
Team Monty 4 Team Pavin 3
"One of the best shots I've ever hit"
.@DjokerNole drives the 16th green 🤯 #AllStarMatch | #RyderCup pic.twitter.com/H5Ozc0U2JUSeptember 27, 2023
Djokovic blasted his drive to within eagle range on the par-four 16th, but our previous post tells you what happened next. Still, enjoy the drive, Novak! What a shot!
The current state of play
Monty nestled another mid-range putt up close when he had two to win it, so this is what the scoreboard currently looks like as the holes begin to run out...
'Come Sunday, they might be leaking oil'
Wyndham Clark has been one of the more vocal members of either team in the build-up to this Ryder Cup, and it seems the US Open champion isn't done yet either.
Speaking in his press conference this morning, Clark wondered if mental fatigue might catch up with the European team given they have played "much more" golf in recent weeks.
Genius from Perrino and an error from Cruz
The Italian disability golfer sticks his tee shot to within a few feet on the par-three 17th, leaving a tap-in and registering Team Pavin's fourth point of the day.
But just moments later, a shocking miss from Victor Cruz - seeing his close-range putt ride almost 360 degrees of the lip - gave Team Monty a gift of a sixth point.
Team Monty 6 Team Pavin 4
First group coming down the last
Djokovic and Popert both have putts for eagle - net, in Novak's case. Popert's second shot was reportedly dropped into around 10 feet out from a long way back. With the score recently turning over to 7-4 to Team Monty - and with two white-shirted players in close - this is about to be over as a contest...
Djokovic among the fans
Novak Djokovic has been having a blast out there today. The tennis star has been making time to speak with fans and sign autographs on his way around. As a bonus, Djokovic has been really pleased with his own game. He might be about to land on the winning team, too.
Djokovic and Popert beat Sainz and Perrino 3-1
By Djokovic's own admission, Kipp Popert did the majority of the heavy lifting out there, but either way it's a win for the men in white.
Popert's heroics on the last ensured a 2-1 victory for the opening group.
Speaking to Sky Sports after his round, Djokovic said: "It was all about my partner today. I think he delivered his A-game, and it was just so much fun.
"As for the level of my golf, I actually have to say I'm pleased because I haven't been playing much, but I played some really good holes today."
Later, Popert said: "It's been incredible. I was telling Novak that I've had a lot of operations in my life, and as a kid, I tried to visualise what it was like to be in scenarios like this - what it would feel like.
"I actually can't believe how comfortable I was. And having one of the greatest sportsmen ever just be an absolute gentleman and make this experience wonderful was great fun, and I really enjoyed it."
Newton's law of golf
Kathryn Newton is such a good player. She sticks a nine iron from 149 yards to around 12 feet on the 18th. As soon as she struck the ball, she walked after it. Such a big-time move. I love it.
Hilbert and Fioravanti tie 2-2 with Newton and Cruz
A thriller between these four ends 2-2 after each had a chance to claim the spoils for their team.
With that result, it means Team Monty cannot be caught and will win the over All Star Match!
Montgomerie and Bale beat Shevchenko and Pavin 2-1
The final group display a variety of quality with their approach shots - Monty sends a four iron to the right side of the dance floor with his second shot. Schevchenko rips one close with his third, and after an over-zealous stab out of the green-side rough, Bale chips to within inches from the jaws of the water on the opposite side.
But when Monty dribbles his putt up close, that draws the contest to a close and everyone shakes hands to mark a job well done.
Team Monty beats Team Pavin 7-4 in the 2023 Ryder Cup All Star Match
- Djokovic and Popert beat Sainz and Perrino 3-1
- Hilbert and Fioravanti draw 2-2 with Newton and Cruz
- Montgomerie and Bale beat Pavin and Shevchenko 2-1
The winning moment
Victory for Team Monty in the All Star match 🏆 pic.twitter.com/tbBWqG6pzoSeptember 27, 2023
That's all, folks
The first day's competitive action has now drawn to a close, but I hope that has whetted your appetite for what's to come.
The culmination of the junior Ryder Cup takes place tomorrow before the adults do battle at Marco Simone from Friday morning.
It's going to be an incredible end to the week, I'm sure, and we hope you will stick with us to enjoy every moment of it.
Grazie mille, ciao!