Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Two former Longhorns set to compete at the Ryder Cup

Courtesy of Texas Athletics

Texas men’s golf alumni Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth will represent Team USA this weekend at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome, Italy for the 44th Ryder Cup.

Spieth, who is making his fifth appearance at the Ryder Cup with an 8-7-3 total record, embraces the challenge of being the away team in a raucous environment.

“That’s what this tournament is about, so it’s probably the most similar to like a football match of any other golf tournament, that’s for sure,” said Spieth at his press conference on Tuesday. “There’s a lot of uniqueness to this event, and one of them is the crowd.”

The tournament will pit the 12 best American golfers against the 12 best European golfers across three days in a match-play format. Friday and Saturday will consist of four fourball matches, meaning there will be two teams with each player playing with their own ball, and four foursome matches, with one ball for each team. Sunday’s events will determine the winning team with 12 singles matches.

Both Scheffler and Spieth were on the U.S. team that dominated its way to a 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits in 2021 after initially being delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Scheffler, the current PGA No. 1 ranked golfer, will look to take more of a leadership role on the team after being a rookie on the last Ryder Cup team.

“Maybe my voice is a little bit different this year,” said Scheffler on Wednesday. “I’m a major champion, and I won THE PLAYERS this year.”

Scheffler made headlines this week after it was announced that he was bringing his new putting coach, Phil Kenyon, to help him prepare for the tournament. Putting has arguably been the weakest part of Scheffler’s game this year, costing him multiple tournaments. Scheffler believes that he can already see a difference in his game despite working with Kenyon for less than a month.

“I just got my mind right,” Scheffler said. “We made little changes to where I’m more comfortable over the ball and now I don’t have time to think about my stroke.” 

Along with the two Longhorns, Team USA will include Sam Burns, Patrick Cantlay, Wyndham Clark, Rickie Fowler, Brian Harman, Max Homa, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas. The team’s captain is 2007 Masters winner Zach Johnson. 

Team USA does not have history on its side this weekend. The Americans have not won a Ryder Cup played in Europe since 1993, 30 years ago. 

“The teams of the past are teams of the part,” said Johnson at a press conference on Monday. “This is a new team with a new opportunity.”

On the other hand, Team Europe will feature golfers Ludvig Aberg, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Nicolai Hojgaard, Viktor Hovland, Shane Lowry, Robert Macintyre, Rory McIlroy, John Rahm, Justin Rose and Sepp Straka. They will be led by former world No.1 Luke Donald.

Once thought to be an overwhelming favorite, Team USA is now practically tied with Team Europe when it comes to the odds according to DraftKings. The European team is extremely top-heavy with the likes of Rahm, McIlroy and Hovland, while the Americans have a deeper overall roster. 

Play begins with Session 1 at 12:25 a.m. CST on Friday.

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