Welcome to GOLF.com’s “Seen & Heard” video series, in which we give you an inside look at golf’s biggest events through the eyes and ears of our onsite crew. On deck this week: the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome. Let’s go!
The GOLF.com team had an eventful Wednesday at Marco Simone. It all started with James Colgan and Claire Rogers making the stroll to the course in the morning, stopping for espresso and with Colgan acting as in-house translator to communicate with the locals.
But once at the course, our team spent the day focused on the European team.
First they stopped at the media center for veteran Rory McIlroy’s press conference, then straight to the course to follow Rory as he worked through a practice round with European rookie Nicolai Højgaard.
“Old and young right there, right?” Colgan said. “It makes a lot of sense that Rory would want him. We just heard him talk in his presser about how he wants the guys on the team to look at him as an equal, and not necessarily look up to him as a leader.”
But that doesn’t mean McIlroy and Højgaard will play together during the real matches, as our staff found out during a visit to Luke Donald’s press conference.
“In terms of the [practice round] pairings, some of that is determined by on media rotations,” Donald said. “Six of the guys today will be doing media, so you send those guys off in the early groups. So I wouldn’t read too much into it. Obviously, we do have a plan in place, and that plan can be adjusted throughout the next few days.”
Then it was off to watch Matt Fitzpatrick, who is 0-0-5 in his Ryder Cup career, where Colgan wondered how the notoriously fast player dealt with playing practice rounds along more deliberate teammates.
But Ryder Cup Wednesday wasn’t only about checking on the European team, it was also about visiting with the home fans, who our team found in loud, boisterous form on the 1st tee as they cheered on the European players. They even caught a Scottish fan leading the entire crowd in a sing-a-long to a popular Italian song.
Then GOLF’s Dylan Dethier caught some of the action at the celebrity Ryder Cup All Star event that went down on Wednesday, featuring star athletes like tennis legend Novak Djokovic and Formula 1 star Carlos Sainz, who hit a snap hook off the tee, then made his way to the crowd to ensure he didn’t injure any fans.
To close out the day, our team offered up some final words following their daylong investigation of the European team.
“Europeans have a lot to feel good about,” Colgan said.
Watch the video above to hear all their thoughts on the European team.