Ryder Cup tips: An in-depth look at Europe’s team including a Hovland top scorer shout

Our tipster Sean Holland reckons Hovland could lead the way for Team Europe.

Viktor Hovland, july 2023


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Rory McIlroy

A name that needs very little in the way of introduction, Rory McIlroy is Europe’s main man. In what will be his seventh Ryder Cup, Rory will be looking to banish the memories of Whistling Straits two years ago, where he only scored one solitary point. His form this season has been outstanding, and if Europe are to have any hope of reclaiming the Ryder Cup this year, the Holywood native will need to show his star power in Rome.

Jon Rahm

There’s nothing like the flair and passion that Spanish golfers bring to the Ryder Cup. From Ballesteros to Olázabal, Jimenez to Garcia, the Spaniards have forever captivated viewers of the Ryder Cup. Jon Rahm is no different. His power and accuracy combined with his passion and emotion make him a must-watch in this format. Rahm is the only member of the European team to have claimed a major this year and he will need to bring some of that grit he used to edge out Brooks Koepka in Augusta this year. Much will be expected of Rahmbo if Europe are to come out on top.

Viktor Hovland

The ever-mercurial Viktor Hovland has cemented himself as one of the world’s best after a terrific season on Tour capped off with his win at the Tour Championship. The big-hitting Norwegian has seen a phenomenal improvement in his game this year, which has reinforced him as one of Europe’s go-to men in Rome this year. In Whistling Straits, Viktor played five times and like many of his team-mates, he didn’t have a good showing. I’d expect to see him involved in all five sessions again but this time with differing results. This will be Hovland’s Ryder Cup coming-out party. I like his value to be Europe’s top point scorer.

Tommy Fleetwood

As players go it’s hard to find more likeable than Tommy Fleetwood. He will be a fan favourite in Rome and it’s a shame there’s no Francesco Molinari by his side on this occasion. Fleetwood burst onto the scene in 2018 when he and “Frankie” won all four of their matches. Fairway Jesus will be looking to recapture some of that magic this time around in Italy. I’d expect Tommy to play a big part due to his extremely accurate tee-to-green play. An essential cog in Luke Donald’s European machine.

Tyrell Hatton

Whether you’re a fan of Hatton’s antics on the course or not there’s no doubting he’s a character. Sometimes the Englishman lets the frustration get the better of him but there’s no doubting his talent as a golfer. He’s recorded 17 top-tens in his last two seasons, that consistency solidified his seat on the plane. It will be interesting to see who he’s paired with on Friday and Saturday, as it could make all the difference in Hatton’s success at Marco Simone.

Justin Rose

It’s a welcomed return to Ryder Cup action for the veteran Justin Rose. Rosey missed out on 2021’s hammering but is back in the side this year courtesy of one of Luke Donald’s captain’s picks. Rose has shown good form this year, even winning at Pebble Beach in February. However, it’s his Ryder Cup record that appeals. Rose’s record is 13-8-2 with some memorable wins stashed in there. Who can forget that comeback against Mickelson in Medinah 11 years ago. European fans can only dream of something similar in Rome but one things for sure, Rose brings invaluable experience and leadership to the young European side.

Matt Fitzpatrick

Rounding off the English contingent is the baby-faced assassin Matt Fitzpatrick. A major winner last year in the US Open, Fitzy proved he has what it takes to come through in the big occasions. That being said, his Ryder Cup record couldn’t be worse. Five matches, five defeats. Both appearances have come on US soil so one would hope, for European’s sake, that the home crowd will prove the catalyst needed for Fitzpatrick. A third-place finish at the recent European Masters signified a return to form and he will need all of it, as he will be called upon more than once for Team Europe in Rome.


Shane Lowry

The Ryder Cup was made for players like Lowry. One of the highlights from Whistling Straits was the enthusiasm and emotion Lowry showed in his debut showing. You could see what it meant to him. Lowry’s background is surrounded by team sports and he’s truly at home in this team format. Shane’s form was brought into question before Luke Donald’s picks but you need characters like Lowry in the team. His superior short game is a huge asset for Europe and there’ll be no man more fired up on the fairways in Rome. The Irish man will be a captivating watch.

Robert MacIntyre

Our first Ryder Cup rookie is Scotsman Robert MacIntyre. Bobby Mac clinched an automatic place on this year’s team thanks to his third-place finish on the European Points List. As the only lefthander on Team Europe, he brings something different. He also boasts some course success around Marco Simone. MacIntrye won the Italian Open in 2022 defeating teammate Matt Fitzpatrick in a playoff. It’ll be interesting to see how often MacIntyre will be utilised by Donald but when called upon I’d expect the Scotsman to perform well.

The Colosseum

Ludvig Aberg

One man who will definitely be called upon is one of the hottest prospects in golf at the moment, Ludvig Aberg. The giant Swede has burst onto the scene this year after only turning professional in June and he hasn’t looked back since. Shooting rounds of 65 & 67 while being paired with Luke Donald at the Rocket Mortage in Detroit helped his cause but his place was solidified with victory at the European Masters in Switzerland. One of the most accurate drivers of the ball his game is ideally suited to Marco Simone. I feel with his form and driving ability, Ludvig will be called upon more than any other rookie on Friday and Saturday which makes him my pick for Top European Rookie Points Scorer.

Sepp Straka

Straka is the oldest of Europe’s rookies making his debut at the age of 30. The Austrian has shown his ability this year in spades and was fully deserving of a captain’s pick. Sepp claimed victory this year at the John Deere Classic with a final round 62. On top of that, Straka finished tied for second at the Open. If he can tap into that form on the fairways in Rome he could yet prove to be extremely important to the European challenge.

Nicolai Hojgaard

Possibly the most controversial of all the captain’s picks, Hojgaard can find himself very lucky to have been picked ahead of Poland’s Adrian Meronk. The Dane has had himself a positive season but it was nothing special, the deciding factor possibly for Donald was his performance at the Hero Cup in January claiming 3.5 points. I’m not totally sold on the Dane however and if there is a weak link in Team Europe, I’d have to say Hojgaard is it. I’d be very surprised if we see Nicolai more than twice in Italy.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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