Aon to celebrate the spirit of the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone
3 Min Read
Written by Michael LoRé
Since the inaugural event in 1927, the Ryder Cup has become one of the world’s greatest sporting events, pitting 24 of the best golfers from the United States and Europe against each other in intense, head-to-head match play.
Highlighted by drama, tension and tremendous golf, the biennial competition also showcases compassion, camaraderie and sportsmanship, the latter iconically displayed between Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin during “The Concession” in 1969.
With the Ryder Cup coming down to the final group, Nicklaus and Jacklin were deadlocked headed into the 18th hole. Nicklaus sunk his 4-foot comeback par putt to secure at least a share of the trophy – and retention for Team USA – before conceding a 2-foot par putt to Jacklin, not only halving their match but also the 1969 Ryder Cup as a whole, as the U.S. and Europe drew 16-16 for the first time in event history.
This iconic moment of sportsmanship is celebrated and honored with the Nicklaus-Jacklin Award presented by Aon. Given to one player, the award recognizes the golfer who best represents the spirit of the Ryder Cup by seeing the bigger picture and making better decisions both on and off the course.
“The excitement and energy surrounding the Ryder Cup always tests your poise, composure and decision-making, and when it matters most,” Nicklaus, a two-time Ryder Cup captain and six-time team member, previously said. “I’m glad to see that everyone involved in the Ryder Cup is identifying the importance of the choices these players make in the heat of competition and on one of golf’s biggest stages, and that they are recognizing and celebrating individuals who approach this competition with the proper spirit and who put an emphasis on good will and camaraderie.”
The 44th Ryder Cup tees off on Friday, Sept. 29, from Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome, Italy. The 2023 Nicklaus-Jacklin Award presented by Aon will be awarded at the conclusion of the competition on Sunday, Oct. 1.
The U.S. Team is striving to retain the Ryder Cup after winning 19-9 in 2021 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. The U.S. holds a 27-14-1 all-time advantage over the European Team in Ryder Cup history, though Europe has won seven of the last 10 competitions, including three straight from 2002-06 and 2010-14.
Led by captain Zach Johnson and vice captains Steve Stricker, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Fred Couples and Stewart Cink, the 2023 U.S. Ryder Cup team comprises automatic qualifiers Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Max Homa and Xander Schauffele, along with captain’s picks Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
Looking to hoist the trophy for the first time since 2018, the European Team is led by captain Luke Donald and vice captains Thomas Bjørn, Nicolas Colsaerts, Edoardo Molinari, Francesco Molinari and José María Olazábal. The 2023 European Ryder Cup team comprises automatic qualifiers Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Robert MacIntyre, Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick, and captain’s picks Ludvig Aberg, Tommy Fleetwood, Nicolai Hojgaard, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Sepp Straka.
McIlroy, ranked No. 2 in the world, recorded a pair of wins this season to go along with 13 top-10 finishes, including finishing runner-up at the U.S. Open. Just behind him at No. 3 is Rahm, who led the TOUR with four wins this year, highlighted by a victory at the 2023 Masters Tournament. Hovland, No. 4, had three wins this season and as well as capturing the 2023 FedExCup title and $18 million bonus following his winning performance at the TOUR Championship.
Regardless of which team wins the 2023 Ryder Cup or which player is awarded the Nicklaus-Jacklin Award presented by Aon, this year’s event is expected to be another memorable one in nearly a century of historic golf that is the Ryder Cup.