Luke Donald To Host European Ryder Cup Reconnaissance Mission In Rome On Monday

Captain Donald insists Team USA are favourites but is leaving no stone unturned in a bid to wrestle back the Ryder Cup from America at Marco Simone

Luke Donald hits a fairway wood
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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."

James Nursey

James Nursey is a freelance contributor to Golf Monthly after spending over 20 years as a sports reporter in newspapers. During a 17-year career with the Daily Mirror, he covered mainly football but reported from The Open annually and also covered a Ryder Cup and three US Opens. He counts a pre-tournament exclusive with Justin Rose at Merion in 2013 as one of his most memorable as the Englishman went on to win his first Major and later repeated much of the interview in his winner’s speech.  Now, after choosing to leave full-time work in newspapers, James, who is a keen single-figure player, is writing about golf more.  His favourite track is the Old Course after attending St Andrews University but has since played mainly at Edgbaston, where he is a member. James’ golfing highlights include a hole-in-one and previously winning the club championship and scratch knock-out at Edgbaston. He is also an active member of the Association of Golf Writers and Press Golfing Society, for whom he has represented in matches. But he is just as happy hitting balls or playing the odd hole with his young daughter at their local club Shrewsbury.

James is currently playing: 
Driver: Ping G400
3 wood: Ping i20
Hybrid: Ping i20
Irons: Ping i500 4-SW
Wedges: Ping Glide forged 50, 56
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour
Ball: Titleist ProVIx