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!
Heading into Sunday at Marco Simone, Team USA needed a miracle.
After two days of domination from the Europeans, Zach Johnson’s squad was all but toast. The scoreboard read 10.5-5.5 and Team Europe needed just four points in Sunday singles to take back the Cup. It would take something unprecedented from the Americans to retain the Cup — but still, there was a chance.
“There’s a path,” Sean Zak said. “Luke Donald threw his horses out front because he wants to win the early matches and just end this thing before anyone really gets tense about it. If somehow the Americans can beat Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy; if somehow they can steal two points, maybe a point and a half from those matches, then it gets real awkward.”
Saturday’s final session ended with drama, and it injected some much-needed juice into the event heading into Sunday. Joe LaCava, looper for Patrick Cantlay, had a dust-up with Rory McIlroy on the 18th green, and it was the talk of the golf world. Cantlay and McIlroy were not paired together in Sunday singles, but they were playing in consecutive groups.
“I just love that last night ended with Joe LaCava getting in Rory McIlroy’s way,” Zak said. “Well Rory is going off fourth. Patrick Cantlay and Joe LaCava are going off third. So when Rory takes to the first tee, Joe LaCava will once again be in his way.”
For fans of drama, the Ryder Cup’s final day was a disappointment. For fans of Team Europe, Sunday was bliss.
There was, for a brief moment during the afternoon, a sliver of hope for the Americans. The scoreboard began to turn red, and the Euros still hadn’t clinched the Cup. The chances were slim, but there was a clear path to victory.
In the end, none of it mattered. The Euros, as they’d done all week, came up big when it mattered most. And when Tommy Fleetwood won the 16th hole over Rickie Fowler, the Ryder Cup was officially won by Team Europe.
Check out the entire behind-the-scenes footage in the video above, or click below to watch all of the GOLF crew’s videos from the week on our YouTube channel.