U.S. Ryder Cup Team takes early peek at Marco Simone
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Nine of 12 players, plus captain and vice-captains, were in Rome over the weekend
Written by Staff @PGATOUR
A flurry of social media posts showed nine of the 12 U.S. Ryder Cup Team members dropped in on Marco Simone Golf & Country Club over the weekend, no doubt hoping the advance scouting trip helps them end a 30-year win drought on the road.
Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who had prior commitments, and Jordan Spieth, whose wife is expecting the couple’s second child, did not make the trip.
The team’s account on X, formerly known as Twitter, showed players getting off the team bus, warming up on the driving range, posing for a picture on the first tee and having a team dinner at which U.S. vice-captain Jim Furyk wore the distinctive “pizza shirt” from the last day of the 1999 Ryder Cup at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
There was also a picture of vice-captain Steve Stricker monitoring Justin Thomas’ putting stroke. Max Homa posted a photo of Thomas in distress over the loss of his beloved Alabama Crimson Tide football team, with Texas product Scottie Scheffler smiling broadly at the Longhorns’ win.
If there was a quick and easy explanation for the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris, where Europe won easily, 17 1/2–10 1/2, it was that the Americans never looked comfortable on the golf course. Marco Simone had the potential to be just as unfamiliar – DP World Tour players know it from playing the Italian Open – but U.S. Captain Zach Johnson tried to rectify that over the weekend.
“The common sentiments that I heard on the golf course was they really liked it, which is awesome,” Johnson told the Associated Press. “And I knew they would because Marco Simone is very, very good. The rough was very thick. That was the other nugget that we talked about a lot.
“The putting greens were very good, very true, very nice,” he continued. “The fairways were awesome. It’s a great test and it’s a really, really good match play golf course. So the guys are excited about the competition.”